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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Home » Articles » Musicians Perform Outside As Bob Iger and Oprah Talk


Musicians Perform Outside As Bob Iger and Oprah Talk

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Musicians held a rally in late September with a brass band performing outside the 92nd Street Y in New York City—while Disney CEO Bob Iger talked with Oprah Winfrey inside the building.

Iger was at the Y to promote a new book and discuss his self-described “decency-over-dollars” approach to doing business. The musicians were out in the street calling on Iger to put “decency-over-dollars” into practice and pay musicians fairly.

“I can’t believe that Disney is making billions of dollars, but won’t even pay me fairly. Playing for weddings actually pays better than working on a multi-million-dollar Disney project. How can Bob Iger claim to value decency over dollars when the musicians who score his films and television shows are struggling to pay the rent,” says Adriana Molello, a violinist and member of Local 802 (New York City).

Musicians have been negotiating a new contract with Disney and other major studios including CBS, MGM, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Sony, and Warner Bros for over two years. The main area of dispute is streaming residuals.

“Every other group of artists that work on Disney streaming projects receives fair residuals. These residuals are vital to the livelihoods of freelance musicians. They allow us to maintain a basic income and do the creative work necessary of artists,” says Ray Mason, a trombonist and composer, and member of Local 802.

Actors, directors, musicians, and writers have traditionally received a small portion of revenue from the films and television shows they work on. Disney continues to pay actors, writers, and directors for streaming work, but refuses to pay musicians for streaming.

Musicians explained that extremely profitable companies like Disney, which earned an estimated $59.43 billion last year, are demanding that they take huge cuts. Without streaming residuals, a musician effectively takes a 75% pay cut when a Disney film is released on Disney Plus versus in theaters or on network television.

The networks and the musicians have negotiations scheduled for early October in Los Angeles.







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