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


Home » Officer Columns » Secretary-Treasurer » AFM and Union Plus Have Your Back

AFM and Union Plus Have Your Back

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

Whether it is negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music or securing benefits such as healthcare and pension; AFM is always working hard for you and your families.

But did you know that Union Plus is also working hard for you and your family? Through our strategic partnership with the Union Plus programs, active and retired AFM members in the US are eligible for over 25 special benefits and programs that Union Plus offers, including: travel and entertainment discounts, AT&T wireless discounts, and the Union Plus Credit Card program.

The Union Plus Credit Card program features two new credit cards with improved hardship grants for eligible cardholders. Since 2009 these grants have provided more than $1.7 million to help union member cardholders facing financial hardships. After carrying this card for just three months, cardholders may be eligible for:

  • Job Loss Grants of $300 to help eligible cardholders who have recently been laid off.
  • Strike Grants of $300 to provide assistance to eligible cardholders who are on a union-sanctioned strike or experiencing a lockout.
  • Disability Grants of $1,600-$2,700 to help eligible cardholders who have lost significant income due to a long-term illness or disability.
  • Hospital Grants of $1,200 to aid eligible cardholders with large, unreimbursed hospital expenses.
    Disaster Relief Grants of $500 to help eligible cardholders facing financial hardship due to a natural disaster.

These grants are part of the assistance program from Union Plus that helps eligible union members facing hardships due to layoffs, hospital costs, disability, mortgage payment problems or high college costs. Through these new and expanded grants, Union Plus will help even more union families. And all grants approved for eligible cardholders are paid by check, and they never have to be paid back.

Please join me in becoming a Union Plus Credit Card carrier by learning more at or by calling 1-800-522-4000.

*     Credit approval required. Terms and conditions apply.  Union Plus Credit Cards are issued by Capital One, N.A.

*      Certain restrictions, limitations, and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at

AT&T Is the No. 1 Wireless Carrier of Choice for Unions

Available through the end of 2013, the AT&T Union Campaign Phone program is designed for any local union looking to purchase voice only devices to run phone banking or campaigns without having to invest in wired services. Instead you will receive wireless phones that allow you to be more mobile with the campaign and use them at any location.

If you are about to run a campaign or event and need to get some phones for this, please take a look at the details of the program:

  • Voice/Text only devices option
  • Wireless phones for $0
  • No contract—cancel after project is completed with no penalties
  • Suspend lines for up to six months or until the next campaign for $.01 /month per line.
  • Customized pooled voice plans to meet your needs
  • Delivery within 1-3 business days
  • AT&T 100% fully unionized wireless carrier

For further information on this program, contact Angie Ison, AT&T/AFL-CIO Regional Account Manager, at 646-707-1586 or