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.
August 1, 2019John Acosta - AFM IEB Member and President, Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)
As unprecedented change transforms the music industry, greater are the demands on our union to bargain strategically within myriad sectors. Through an ongoing transformation in consumption, evolving monetization of content, and ever-expanding cross-collateralization of media across platforms, we are challenged to conform our agreements and to respond to new world paradigms.
With the process of collective bargaining being slow and methodical, only consistently engaged rank-and-file members and union leadership will be able to move our organization forward. This calls for inclusivity at every level. From membership meetings to union caucuses, from player conferences to regional conferences, we should strive to listen to the opinions of all of our members while building the necessary consensus to form policy and initiatives. As our union embarks upon bargaining for the coming year, our commitment to organizing in the workplace must continue to grow, bringing musicians across our Federation’s landscape together to build strength and unity.
With a revitalized focus on organizing, a similar investment of effort and resources should be concentrated in our administration and enforcement of our agreements to provide our members with reliable support. With tightening deadlines, global competition, and the need for quick turnarounds, we should seek to respond to our members with greater urgency. We should also strive to modernize how we track, compute, and collect payments. In Los Angeles, we are in the process of upgrading our computer systems to offer cloud-based services to members 24/7, with app-based interfaces and instant access via computer, tablet, or smartphone so that our members may track their benefits, file a contract, or update their personal information via the web.
The future is now, and the moment to step up our game is before us; we should strive to provide our members easy access to all of their information as is expected in the digital age. As we modernize our infrastructure, we can also tap into a newly activated interest in labor unions among young professionals. With the growth of the “gig economy” and lost sense of community, there is also opportunity to organize non-union musicians into our Federation. At every occasion we should strive to expand our tent, and with growth we should stand ready to expand the bargaining table so that all stakeholders have a meaningful voice in shaping the agreements that they work under.