In This Issue:
- Holiday Greetings!
- DPE Unions Register Copyright Concerns
- DPE Speaks Up on Trade
- DPE Executive Committee Welcomes AFL-CIO EVP Tefere Gebre
- NEW! DPE Provides H-1B and L-1 Visa Annotated Bibliography
- Updated! DPE Compiles State Resources for Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors
- AFT Supports School Libraries
- Justin Timberlake Agrees to SAG-AFTRA Contract for Dancers
HOLIDAY GREETINGS! – – As 2013 draws to a close, DPE President Paul E. Almeida, the other officers, and the staff of DPE wish you all the best for the holidays and the New Year. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, our thanks to each of you for your continuing support!
DPE UNIONS REGISTER COPYRIGHT CONCERNS – On October 29, 2013, DPE hosted a meeting of its Arts, Entertainment, and Media Industries (AEMI) unions with the Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO), Maria Pallante, and three of her senior staff.
The meeting followed Ms. Pallante’s speeches and Congressional testimony this year advocating a comprehensive review of U.S. copyright policy and law leading to “the next great copyright act.” The AEMI unions stressed the importance of copyright to the jobs, incomes, and benefits of the people who organized and belong to them.
Specific topics included orphan works, digital first sale, felony streaming, the Audio-Visual Performances Treaty, the terrestrial performance right, and a licensing regime for copyrighted recorded works that is fair and equitable across all platforms.
Other USCO staff at the meeting were Karyn Temple Claggett, Associate Register and Director of Policy and International Affairs; Jacqueline Charlesworth, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights; and Maria Strong, Senior Counsel for Policy and International Affairs. Participating AEMI unions were AFM, IATSE, OPEIU, and SAG-AFTRA, as well as AEMI ally DGA.
An article by Ms. Pallante (right) that expands on her initial call for a comprehensive review, “The Next Great Copyright Act,” is available here. Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, a green paper from the Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force (July 2013), can be read here. Photo: http://www.copyright.gov/about.html.
For additional information, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, (202) 638-0320 extension 113, email@example.com.
DPE SPEAKS UP ON TRADE – On November 14, 2013, DPE Executive Director David Cohen participated in the Seventh Annual Services Roundtable of the U.S. International Trade Commission, an off-the-record discussion for the benefit of the Commission and its staff. A summary of the 2012 Roundtable, in which he also participated, is available in Chapter 6 of Recent Trends in U.S. Services: 2013 Annual Report, which is online here.
DPE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE WELCOMES AFL-CIO EVP TEFERE GEBRE – On November 13, 2013, the DPE Executive Committee convened for the first time since the AFL-CIO Convention in September. A highlight: its welcome to Tefere Gebre, elected AFL-CIO Executive Vice President at the Convention, and his summary of subsequent work on Convention initiatives.
Chaired by DPE Board Chair J. David Cox, AFGE National President, the Committee conferred by conference call to accommodate Committee members in multiple states. Chairman Cox observed that the government lockout and the shooting of a Transportation Security Agency officer at Los Angeles airport had made for challenging months – and the labor movement rose to the challenge.
DPE President Paul E. Almeida announced that Executive Director David Cohen is planning to retire early next year, thanked him for his years of valuable service, and invited his comments. Mr. Cohen expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work for and with President Almeida, DPE, its Executive Committee, the affiliated unions, and the workers they represent.
Other items on the agenda included the Treasurer’s report by Francine Lawrence, AFT Executive Vice President and updates by President Almeida on immigration and the AFL-CIO Convention. David Cohen reported on copyright and the arts, entertainment, and media unions; a meeting on services trade hosted by the U.S. International Trade Commission; and the views of the professional associations in Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity as to why the coalition had been inactive. DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning detailed recent outreach involving professional associations and announced two new DPE fact sheets. The meeting concluded with affiliate reports.
NEW! DPE PROVIDES H-1B AND L-1 VISA ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY – The annotated bibliography is an easy-to-use resource for the latest research on H-1B and L-1 visas. It compiles recent research and articles that cover H-1B and L-1 guest worker visas and that touch on central areas of controversy, including wages and working conditions, the supply of high-skilled workers, and employer misuse of guest worker visas.
Read the bibliography here. For further information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATED! DPE COMPILES STATE RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES MISCLASSIFIED AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS – A DPE fact sheet, Recourse for Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors, has been updated. The update includes new state-by-state resources for misclassified employees to report unemployment, workers’ compensation, and tax fraud. The fact sheet includes contact information for state departments of labor, workers’ compensation, and revenue.
Read Recourse for Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors here. For further information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
AFT SUPPORTS SCHOOL LIBRARIES – On October 16, 2013, the AFT Executive Council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting “Improving Literacy and College Career Readiness Through Effective School Library Programs.”
DPE brought the issue to the attention of AFT Executive Vice President Francine Lawrence after Connie Williams, a member of the American Library Association and AFT, contacted DPE. DPE met Connie through DPE’s ongoing involvement with the American Library Association.
AFT resolved to “assist the American Association of School Librarians with public support of its lobbying efforts for passage of Section 1251 of the SKILLs Act of 2013.” Section 1251 of the SKILLs Act would ensure adequate resources to staff and supply our school libraries.
To read the complete AFT resolution, go here. For further information, contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, (202) 638-0320, firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AGREES TO SAG-AFTRA CONTRACT FOR DANCERS – Just before Thanksgiving, SAG-AFTRA announced a first, an agreement with Justin Timberlake (left) for the dancers on his 20/20 Experience World Tour to be covered by the SAG-AFTRA Touring Agreement. For the dancers, the agreement means their earnings count toward pension and health benefits eligibility. Photo: AFL-CIO Now Blog.
This is the first time that member performers have successfully organized dancers employed on a specific tour under the SAG-AFTRA Touring Agreement. The agreement was previously utilized to cover touring back-up singers for James Taylor, Reba McIntire, Martina McBride, Blues Traveler, Josh Groban and Jefferson Starship.
SAG-AFTRA leaders praised Timberlake for his willingness to join in the agreement. SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard declared, “This is a wonderful result for SAG-AFTRA members and Justin Timberlake. Justin was very open to signing the agreement and personally making sure the deal got done. As a leading recording artist and actor, Justin’s support for his fellow SAG-AFTRA members in unionizing his tour was a key element in concluding this agreement. I thank him for taking the lead.”
Assistant National Executive Director for Sound Recordings Randy Himes commented, “The physical demands of touring are tough on our artist members and those members that tour with them. I applaud the dancers for their dedication to this new agreement and give Justin the credit he richly deserves for stepping up and taking care of his elite dancer group. It’s just another reason why Justin continues to be one of the most respected performers in the media entertainment industry.”