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.
September 1, 2022IM -
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 www.OregonUnionMadeEntertainment.org, a website that publicizes the live entertainment options in our region that use union labor.”