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


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Recommended Reading


No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age

Drawing on her experience as a scholar and longtime organizer in student, environmental, and labor movements, Jane F. McAlevey examines cases from labor unions and social movements to pinpoint the factors that helped them succeed, or fail, to accomplish their intended goals. She ultimately concludes that, in order to win, progressive movements need strong unions built from bottom-up organizing strategies that place the power for change in the hands of workers and ordinary people at the community level.

No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age, by Jane F. McAlevey, Oxford University Press.

Secrets of a Successful Organizer

This book outlines the basics of good organizing. Distilled into digestible bites, the book lays out eight main lessons, from how an organizer thinks to mapping out a work site and designs to carrying out and assessing a campaign. Includes a brief summary of labor law and related resources. The authors show how to fight back in the workplace and win. Readers learn how to identify the key issues in the workplace, build campaigns to tackle them, anticipate management’s tricks and traps, and inspire co-workers to stand together, despite their fears. It’s a step-by-step guide to building power on the job. 

Secrets of a Successful Organizer, by Alexandra Bradbury, Mark Brenner, and Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes Books.

The Legal Rights of Union Stewards

A must-read for veteran and new union stewards alike. It’s an easy-to-navigate primer on the rights of stewards, taking the reader through the basics, from the National Labor Relations Act to Weingarten rights. Robert M. Schwartz tackles common questions: When can you call your boss a liar? Can a manager warn you for soliciting grievances? Do Weingarten rights apply when an employer telephones an employee? Can criminal conviction bar a union member from running for union office? Can a union settle a grievance without the employees’ consent? Schwartz, a veteran labor lawyer, provides real world, working knowledge for working stewards as well as labor professionals.

The Legal Rights of Union Stewards, Fifth Edition, by Robert M. Schwartz, Work Rights Press.

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