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Home » Recent News » AFM Musicians Affirm Support at “Many Crafts, One Fight” Rally

AFM Musicians Affirm Support at “Many Crafts, One Fight” Rally


AFM musicians joined thousands in solidarity at the “Many Crafts, One Fight” negotiations kickoff rally March 3 hosted by International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Hollywood Basic Crafts unions as they headed into their negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Hot on the heels of the recent bargaining win with these same employers, AFM International President Tino Gagliardi proudly joined esteemed labor leaders in delivering inspiring words to a massive crowd at Woodley Park in Encino, California.

Among the many AFM members in attendance, along with AFM President Tino Gagliardi, were Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) President Stephanie O’Keefe, Vice President Marc Sazer, and Secretary-Treasurer Gail Kruvand; and Local 325 (San Diego, CA) President Loretta Kirkell and Board Member Carl Dershem.

“This is what solidarity looks like. This industry has come together in ways that I have not seen in my entire career,” Gagliardi said. “Musicians are with you because that’s the kind of solidarity I got from all of you, and that’s what you’re going to get right back.”

Additional speakers included representatives from IATSE, Teamsters, Writers Guild of America (WGA), Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), California Labor Federation, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

For the first time in 36 years, IATSE and the Hollywood Basic Crafts—a coalition of guilds representing more than 75,000 crew members that include drivers, electrical workers, costume designers, cement masons, plumbers, lighting technicians, camera operators, makeup artists, video editors, and more—are jointly bargaining with AMPTP for pension and health benefits. The three will negotiate other contract terms separately.

AFM International President Tino Gagliardi speaks to the crowd at the “Many Crafts, One Fight” rally.
VIDEO LINK: Watch a short video from the event at

“Every union in the entertainment industry is standing here together, and that has never happened before,” said IATSE President Matthew Loeb. “We stand here together to demand fairness, to demand a living wage … for everybody who works in this business.”

Key concerns for the new agreement include wage increases, enhanced contract enforcement, improved on-set working conditions, wage increases that will keep up with inflation, and artificial intelligence (AI) protections.

IATSE’s current contract expires July 31, and the entertainment industry could face another strike if an agreement is not reached in the coming months. Production has yet to return to full strength after the conclusion of last year’s WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which impacted many “below-the-line” crew members covered by this round of negotiations.

At the time of this writing, the first week of talks have concluded and negotiations are ongoing.

A seven-piece Dixieland band, co-sponsored by the AFM and Recording Musicians Association (RMA), kicked off the event in style. Pictured above (L-R) Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) members Chris Tedesco (trumpet/bandleader), Michael Deutsch (bass drum), Joe Cataldo (snare drum), Jim McMillen (trombone), Geoff Nudell (clarinet), Jon Kurnick (banjo), and Les Benedict (tuba).

PHOTOS: Linda A. Rapka

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