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.
January 1, 2022
As I compose this month’s column, I’ve received notice from the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that musicians employed under the Federation’s Motion Picture Film and Television Film Agreements have ratified a one-year extension to those agreements, extending all provisions of the existing agreements together with a 3% increase in wages. That extension preserves and protects […]
December 1, 2021
I rallied with hundreds of supporters of San Antonio Symphony musicians at their performance hall, The Tobin Center, October 29, following a unanimous strike vote rejecting an attempt to impose pay cuts ranging from 31% to 68%. Following are selections from my speech to the attendees. As we stand shoulder to shoulder with striking musicians […]
November 1, 2021
NOTE: Local 542 (Flint, MI) President Joe Boettger recently forwarded a radio ad voice-over script he was producing that surprisingly was an excerpt from a freelance recruiting piece I wrote for AFM President Fuentealba in 1985, and I believe it’s still relevant today. Following is a slightly updated version of that article. So, you’re developing […]
October 1, 2021
October marks the 125th Anniversary of the American Federation of Musicians. This column describes the founding of the AFM, introducing a special anniversary supplement included in this issue of the International Musician. I hope you enjoy this historic look back at the beginning years of our union. It was October 1896, 125 years ago. Musicians […]
September 1, 2021
by Ray Hair, AFM International President I am pleased to report that the Federation has completed negotiations with the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions for an extension to the Pamphlet B Touring Theatrical Musicals and Short Engagement Touring (SET) Agreements and for a comprehensive Health and Safety Manual (“Safety Manual”) applicable to all musicians […]
August 1, 2021
It’s been 17 months since the COVID pandemic brought live entertainment to a screeching halt around the world. Emergency government regulations, mask mandates, and social distancing regimens are being relaxed in the US, but conditions are still in flux. Canada is only now beginning to ease lockdown restrictions. One of the longest indoor-dining bans in […]
July 1, 2021
This month, my guest columnist is Texas attorney Chris Castle, who works on a variety of matters in the nexus of music, technology, and policy. His most recent public policy study for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) addresses the systemic economic unfairness proffered by Spotify, Apple Music, and other interactive streaming platforms toward musicians. […]
May 1, 2021
More than a year after the COVID outbreak prompted the lockdown of global population centers, halting public gatherings, darkening entertainment venues of all sizes, locking out musicians and performers, and eliminating thousands upon thousands of jobs, wheels are now in motion for the reopening of the live entertainment industry and a mid-summer return for concerts, […]
April 1, 2021
As I write this column (March 12, 2021) the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with its relief provisions for multiemployer pension plans, has passed the Senate, was approved by the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Biden. If there were ever a day to celebrate the power of collective action and […]
March 1, 2021
Participants in the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund were notified in January that the Fund filed a second application with the US Treasury Department to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA). This month, I’ll explain the decision by the Fund trustees to file another MPRA application, the difference in […]