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.
Yesterday, August 7, voters in Missouri rejected the state’s new “right-to-work” law by a margin of two to one. Proposition A asked voters whether or not they would like to enact the right-to-work statute that the state legislature passed and former Governor Eric Greitens (R) signed last year. The law would have made it illegal for unions to charge agency fees to workers they represent who choose not to join the union. Agency fees, lower than union dues, are designated to help cover the costs of negotiating employment contracts.
Sympathetic workers and union workers fought the law by gathering about 300,000 signatures (more than double what was required) to put a freeze on the law and let voters decide. Construction workers, ironworkers, and steelworkers knocked on more than 800,000 doors to create awareness and draw voters to the polls.
They even enlisted the help of actor and Missouri native John Goodman who created a radio ad. “The bill will not give you the right to work. It’s being sold as a way to help Missouri workers, but look a little deeper and you’ll see it’s all about corporate greed,” he says.
Though similar right to work laws have passed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and other states, this is the first time such legislation has been overturned by ballot referendum. It is also the first attempt in recent years. Currently, only 8.7% of workers in Missouri are union members, below the national average, but polls show rising support for unions and an uptick in membership.
“Missouri is the latest sign of a true groundswell, and working people are just getting started,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The defeat of this poisonous anti-worker legislation is a victory for all workers across the country. The message sent by every single person who worked to defeat Prop. A is clear: When we see an opportunity to use our political voice to give workers a more level playing field, we will seize it with overwhelming passion and determination. Tonight is the latest act of working people changing a rigged system that for decades has been favoring corporations, the mega wealthy, and the privileged few.”