I’m Running for VP of Musicians’ Local 47 in LA

I’m Mike Merritt, and I looking forward to the challenge of running on the Musicians 47 United slate to serve as your Vice-President.

Now, more than ever, the issues of economic inequality and racial injustice compel me to step forward to help lead our local to a future of more inclusion, diversity and economic fairness. These are important issues for all of us, and it’s why I’m asking you to support Musicians United 4 Progress.

During my 25 years of playing bass in the house band for Conan O’Brien (NBC Late Night 1993-2009) (The Tonight Show 2009-2010) (TBS’s Conan 2010-2018) along with many recording sessions, live shows and other TV work, I have valued the importance of union membership and have participated as an advisor to the AFM TV/Videotape negotiations, served as a member of the Contract Action Team that fought for streaming residuals last year, and am currently serving as a member of the Retiree Representative Panel, reflecting your concerns regarding the difficulties facing our Pension Fund.

Over the last generation, we have seen what technology has done to our business. We still make music, like we always have. But the radical change has been in how that music is delivered to the consumer, and how our various collective bargaining agreements have to keep pace with that technology.
Now, we are also faced with a health pandemic like we’ve never seen before, one that has practically ground our industry to a halt. I do believe that science and scientists will make progress against COVID. Our business will return. As we look to the future, here are some of the key things on our agenda that we will address:

STREAMING INCOME- we will continue the fight for proper compensation;

INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY- we will strive to ensure our workplaces represent all Los Angeles’ communities of color;

PENSION SECURITY – we will work with our elected officials to pursue legislation that will provide support for multi-employer funds such as ours.

Finally, I believe outreach is vital to the future of Local 47. We must be committed to reach out to include musicians whose work is mostly non-union, and who represent musical styles and genres that are under represented in our local.

In the midst of a global pandemic we face economic uncertainty combined with social and racial upheaval. If there was ever a time for our local to rise to the challenge, this slate of candidates, Musicians47United , stands ready now and is committed to the hard work it will take to move forward.