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


President’s Message


Ray Hair – AFM International President

    AFM Pension Fund: The Retiree Representative and Equitable Factors Panel

    The American
    Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (Fund) has faced financial
    difficulties since the global 2007-2008 recession. Similar to dozens of other
    pension plans, the Fund is now underfunded and will be unable to pay benefits
    at the level projected in the pre-recession financial market. The Fund’s
    history of financial struggles is available here. The Fund is in the process of
    evaluating various options to reduce a portion of participants’ benefits in
    order to remain financially solvent.

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    Campaign for Fairness in Streaming Media Begins in Los Angeles

    As this column is being written, the first leadership training and organizing committee development sessions are concluding at Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) in preparation for an IEB-supported, Federation-wide, member-driven campaign to win industry-standard wages, residual payments, and benefits for musicians who perform and record TV and film content made for streaming platforms. The campaign also seeks to establish meaningful new revenue from film and TV streaming that would boost contributions toward our pension fund.

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    TV, Film Agreements Extended Again; Contract Streaming Fight Begins

    On March 18, after a week of intense negotiations, an agreement was
    reached with major Hollywood film producers and their television film
    counterparts to extend the existing Theatrical and Motion Picture Film
    agreements until November 14, 2019, with a 2% increase in wages. As was agreed
    one year ago, the parties deemed a short-term contract solution as the better
    alternative to the existing deadlock resulting from the producers’ failure to
    adequately address the Federation’s goal of creating residual payments for
    films and content made originally for streaming platforms.

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    Musician’s Streaming Income: Growing and Glaring Disparity

    Below are my remarks from a rally hosted by Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) immediately prior to our negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers toward a successor film agreement.

    Good morning, brothers and sisters. I’m proud to be here with my colleagues from the AFM International Executive Board, AFM staff, Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) officers and staff, members of our sister union SAG-AFTRA, the good folks from the LA County Federation of Labor, but most importantly, great musicians, members of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada—the oldest and largest labor union in the world representing professional musicians.

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    Status Report—AFM Pension Fund

    If you’ve been
    following the status of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’
    Pension Fund (AFM-EPF), you know it has been facing severe funding problems
    since the Great Recession, despite earning relatively good investment returns
    since then and receiving a significant contribution increase. As detailed more
    below, however, these have not been enough to “right the ship.” As a result,
    the trustees are preparing for a critical and declining certification in the
    spring and an application to the Treasury Department under the 2014 federal law
    known as “MPRA” for approval to reduce benefits to the extent necessary to
    remain solvent for the next 30 years.

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