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Home » Organizing » State AFL-CIO Conventions Pass Resolution for Entertainment Contracts

State AFL-CIO Conventions Pass Resolution for Entertainment Contracts


This year, Oregon, Washington, and Illinois State AFL-CIO Conventions have all adopted resolutions requiring affiliate unions to hire union performers and use union contracts for entertainment. 

In 2005, a SAG-AFTRA resolution passed the Oregon AFL-CIO convention, requiring affiliate unions to hire union performers—including musicians—and use union contracts. But, over the past decade and a half, AFM Local 99 (Portland, OR) has encountered hurdles, specifically having to remind their union siblings about the resolution. 

“We have continually bemoaned the fact that our local labor council, state federation, and other unions produce events or media without using our entertainment union contracts,” says Mont Chris Hubbard, secretary-treasurer of Local 99 (Portland, OR). “Too often, for example, the Oregon AFL-CIO might have a staff person pull some library music for a video they create, or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) might hire an electrician who has a band to play music for their event. They’d say, ‘They’re union members, so we’re hiring union!’ and think that they were covered.” 

This spring, Local 99, along with Oregon locals of IATSE and SAG-AFTRA, decided to propose a fresh resolution to remind other unions that “buy union” includes entertainment.

The resolution, which passed unanimously, states that the Oregon AFL-CIO will work with affiliates to create a list of entertainment unions for affiliates to contact when seeking workers to fulfill a project; unions will consult with their entertainment union affiliates before contracting out work; and that Oregon AFL-CIO will urge affiliates to make every best effort to use workers that work under the appropriate entertainment union contract when contracted out.

This means writers, actors, announcers, musicians, dancers, singers, and other performers, as well as, stagehands, A/V workers, lighting, sound and staging, motion picture technicians, and content creators working on either live performances or recordings—all will work under the appropriate union contract.(View adopted resolution here.)

Encouraged by the success of Local 99 in Oregon, Local 105 (Spokane, WA), and Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) worked with fellow entertainment unions on similar resolutions, which were passed by the Washington and Illinois State AFL-CIO Conventions.

“Working with our sister entertainment unions allowed us to present a strong, united front at the convention, and drove home the point that this is about solidarity and fairness.” Hubbard says, “We are excited to have other AFM locals use this resolution as a template.”

“We also strongly encourage creating a local entertainment union federation. We’ve found it invaluable to compare notes about problem employers, coordinate actions and lobbying efforts, and collaborate on projects like, a website that publicizes the live entertainment options in our region that use union labor.”