I often find myself perplexed at being a union member in Texas. It has always been a battle. I just wanna say "free market, my ass". I was on a wedding reception job in Dallas on August 13 and could not believe what we went through. The client was John Alexis (owner of TJs Fresh seafood). Our band Memphis Soul gave this guy a 20% discount of fees. We learned several songs above and beyond the norm. Usually 2-3 is fine but he dictated 10-12 new tunes. Crazy huh? It gets better. We played the gig, dressed in Tuxes, and even played overtime 15 minutes. All was cool. At the end, leader Brad Mezei tried to collect our balance and was told by Mr. Alexis, I need to discuss it later/tomorrow. He never responed to our requests but soon referred us to his lawyer. He claimed, he and his wife were not pleased with the song selection (that he chose).
Fortunately, we had a contract and our local AFM 72-147 Union took the lead to collect. Mr Alexis/cousel quickly was ready to settle (although at a reduced rate). We did accept the payment but it still shows how little respect much of the public has for artists and how important it is to be unified and active in a labor union. I hope that no one who reads this ever eats at TJs Fresh seafood and can pass this along. We need all the support we can get to battle this kind of treatment.
Stay Union, stay strong!