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.

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Officer Columns, President's Message

Ray Hair – AFM International President

The American Rescue Plan: In Unity There is Strength

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 […]


The AFM-EP Fund, Benefit Reductions, and Legislative Relief

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 […]


January 6: Violence Has No Role in Our Democracy

On January 7, I issued the following statement in the aftermath of the mob attack on our capitol: “The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada condemns in the strongest terms the mob assault upon the US Capitol building, which was an attempt to subjugate our democracy and the peaceful and constitutional transfer […]


Biden-Harris Victory is a Win for Working People, Unions

The American Federation of Musicians congratulates President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for their victory in the November 2020 general election. Our union endorsed the Biden-Harris ticket because their campaign agenda promoted the protection of American workers, and committed to strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions. As I’ve mentioned in this column […]


TV Negotiations Finish with Streaming Residuals Win

I am pleased to report that on October 22, 2020, after years of false starts, interruptions, and delays, the Federation reached agreement with representatives of CBS, NBC, and ABC for a successor Television Videotape Agreement, subject to ratification by the members. Negotiations for this agreement spread over four years. The previous agreement expired on February […]


Will the Pandemic Cause a Resurgence in Unionism? Solidarity is Key

With the advent of COVID-19 and its economic effects, some believe that a union resurgence is underway.


Coping with Fear Through Collective Action

Looking ahead in this pandemic-driven time of political and economic uncertainty, professional musicians, whether working in the gig economy as freelancers or employed under orchestral or theatrical collective bargaining agreements, are coping with the fear being used to exploit us by employers and by politicians on the local, regional, and federal levels. Fear is the […]


Winners and Losers in the Pandemic Economy

The billionaires are getting richer from this pandemic, while millions of working people are out of their jobs. Mega-companies are gaining big chunks of ground, not just in market share, but in their ability to influence politicians, and entire governments.


More COVID Economic Aid – Tell Congress to Act Now!

As we enter the fifth month of the pandemic, the live entertainment industry is still shutdown. With Depression-era unemployment and with the virus out of control, no one knows when it will be safe enough to reopen our performance venues, to end this isolation, reconnect with our audiences and with each other. In this period […]


We Will Not Sit on the Sidelines and Be Silent: Black Lives Matter

The unconscionable displays of racism in America during the past weeks and months have prompted millions of people around the world to take to the streets in protest over the inhuman, intolerable cruelty that black Americans have endured from this nation’s system of criminal justice. The protests have come against the background of the global […]








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