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.
December 23, 2022IM -
Energized by new legislative wins, Democrats are working to help union organization efforts by tackling policies that weaken unions, such as right-to-work laws and employer-mandated captive audience meetings in which employees are warned against organizing or joining a union. Meanwhile, union leaders seek to strengthen National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) funding and staffing to further protect organizing efforts.
The surge of labor union organizing that began during the pandemic—including unprecedented efforts at Amazon warehouses, Starbucks cafés, Apple retail stores, and video game developers—shows no sign of slowing down. In December, Starbucks workers at 100 stores around the US planned a three-day strike as part of their effort to unionize the coffee chain’s stores. It was the second major strike in a month by Starbucks workers. On November 17, employees at 110 Starbucks stores held a one-day walkout, which coincided with Starbucks’ busy annual Red Cup Day, when the company gives away reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink. More than 264 of Starbucks’ 9,000 company-run stores have voted to unionize.
These union efforts were boosted by a ruling from the NLRB. The Democratic-appointed members threw out a standard adopted in 2017 (when it had a Republican appointee majority) for deciding whether groups of workers with distinct jobs can hold elections to form bargaining units. The labor board revived a 2011 standard, which states that bargaining units are appropriate as long as the workers within them do not share an “overwhelming community of interest” with other employees.
Union leaders say a robust NLRB is critical as organizing surges nationwide. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and the presidents of more than 40 unions have called upon Congress to increase the agency’s funding as it struggles to keep up with a vast caseload. The NLRB’s funding level, unchanged since 2014, impairs its ability to expedite hearings and investigate unfair labor practice charges. In addition, staffing levels have fallen behind the growth of the private-sector workforce.
In 2022, workers filed 2,510 union representation petitions—a 53% increase from 2021 and the highest number of union representation petitions since 2016. The total caseload increased by 23%. It is the single largest case increase in 46 years and largest percentage increase in more than 60 years.