Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
February 1, 2016IM -
Employees at Guitar Center retail stores have been told that they must sign a mandatory arbitration agreement in order to keep their jobs. Under the agreement the employees lose their right to sue the company in class action lawsuits in disputes over wage violations, workplace discrimination, unjust firings, and other issues. The use of arbitrators, that are often cozy with the hiring company, weakens worker power and preempts possible collective action. Nowadays, such clauses are often tucked into company “welcome” packets for new hires to unwittingly sign.
In 2013, the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) won elections in three Guitar Center stores, but there is still no contract at any of them. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) general counsel has accused the company of refusing to bargain in good faith. NLRB has declared that agreements similar to the arbitration papers Guitar Center employees are being asked to sign, illegally infringe on a worker’s right to “protected concerted activity” with colleagues.
“We’re analyzing the agreement in light of the labor board’s recent cases. We’re considering filing a new charge and pursuing a new round of action,” attorney Liz Vladeck who represents RWDSU told The Huffington Post.