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.
June 10, 2015IM -
A new study from the Economic Policy Institute shows that more than 10 million American workers are misclassified as independent contractors, when they are really employees. The study points to Live Nation and FedEx as businesses that routinely abuse the system, to save money on taxes, employment insurance, overtime pay, minimum wage, and workmen’s compensation.
For example, the concert producer uses subcontractor Crew One to staff its shows in Atlanta. Crew One treats the workers it employs for Live Nation as independent contractors, providing no safety training, work shoes, hard hats, and saving the expense of payroll taxes. Crew One stagehands have voted (2 to 1) to form a union, but the company is challenging the election results on the grounds that the workers are independent contractors.
FedEx is currently fighting a legal battle over worker misclassification in 27 states. Drivers are treated as independent contractors, but they must provide their own trucks painted to FedEx specifications and purchase FedEx specified uniforms, scanners, and other equipment. They also work according to FedEx hours and procedures. As independent contractors, FedEx drivers take on immense financial liability.
A tax loophole called the “Safe Harbor Rule” protects employers, allowing misclassification for tax purposes, even if it is demonstrated that they really are employees. President Obama proposed closing this loophole in his 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 budget proposals. The US Treasury estimates that doing so would generate $9 billion in tax revenue over 10 years.
To read the entire EPI report visit www.epi.org/publication/independent-contractor-misclassification/.