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"Record label executives refuse to relinquish their stranglehold on artists’ lives. They are running a campaign of intimidation and misinformation to stop this good bill."
——Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation
CALIFORNIA LABOR LEADER
DISPUTES RECORD BIZ CLAIMS
AFL-CIO's Pulaski Claims Biz Is Using Intimidation, Coercion to Derail Murray Bill
Now the gloves come off. It may not be Tyson vs. Lewis, but the infighting over recording artists’ exemption from California’s seven-year statute is starting to heat up.

A top California Labor Federation official has accused the record labels of using "intimidation, coercion and misinformation" in its campaign to derail State Senator Kevin Murray’s SB 1246.

The bill, which comes before the Judiciary Committee of the California Senate for a vote on June 18 at 1:30 p.m. (PT), seeks to eliminate the long-standing amendment to the state labor code which exempts recording artists from being bound to long-term service to an employer.

"SB 1246 will end indentured servitude in the recording industry, and grant artists the same fundamental rights enjoyed by other California workers," said Labor Federation Executive Secretary Treasurer Art Pulaksi. "Record label executives refuse to relinquish their stranglehold on artists’ lives. They are running a campaign of intimidation and misinformation to stop this good bill. By the way, anyone know an A&R man I can send this tape of my nephew’s band to?"

Since 1931, California law has prohibited employers from enforcing personal service contracts against employees after seven years. The law was amended in 1987 to deny this protection to one group—recording artists. As a result, musicians and vocalists are often tied to excessively long contracts. The exemption has come under attack by the newly formed Recording Artists Coalition and, more recently, by a group headed by black activists Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Reverend Al Sharpton.

Pulaski drew attention to a June 5 L.A. Times article which noted a top official of MCA Records "pressured employees to lobby California lawmakers to oppose SB 1246… and there wasn’t one mention about firing Michael Greene."

The California Labor Federation is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and boasts more than 1,300 affiliated local unions and represents 2.1 million union members in various sectors of the state’s economy.

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