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.
March 30, 2020Jay Blumenthal - AFM International Secretary-Treasurer
We have been working closely with the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees Arts, Entertainment and Media Industry unions to advocate for musicians and other creative professionals urging Congress to pass emergency relief legislation. Please see the March 20 press release below:
Arts, Entertainment, and Media Unions Call on Policymakers to Protect Media Workers in Emergency Relief Packages
With hundreds of thousands of creative professionals out of work as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, arts, entertainment, and media unions affiliated with the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) are calling on the White House, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Congress to quickly pass emergency relief legislation that both enhances and expands state unemployment benefits and sends direct unrestrained cash to the impacted workers they represent.
“Arts, entertainment, and media workers have been hit hard by this public health and economic crisis. Overnight, production and performances industry-wide shut down indefinitely, leaving most entertainment and media workers without a source of income to cover essential expenses. Workers who are left without a paycheck and may not qualify for unemployment have no recourse unless Congress acts now. Elected officials have a moral responsibility to ensure emergency relief packages address these workers’ unique circumstances,” said DPE President Jennifer Dorning. “DPE affiliate unions representing arts, entertainment, and media professionals are committed to working with the federal government to provide economic relief during this long-term national crisis.”
Current state unemployment insurance benefits tend to be insufficient for arts and entertainment workers, and many will not be eligible for the paid leave expansion in the newly passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
“Creative professionals have unique work situations that prevent them from gaining much relief from state unemployment insurance programs,” said Dorning. “For workers in the arts and entertainment industries who are classified as employees, the benefits tend to be minimal. In a state like California, weekly benefits for creative professionals range from $40 to $450, which is not enough to weather this crisis—and far below what creative professionals would be earning if they could work.”
This week, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. The legislation provides relief to many workers across the country, but its paid sick leave and childcare leave provisions only apply to a limited number of still-employed arts, entertainment, and media professionals.
“We thank the President, Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of Congress for this much-needed first step in providing support to workers impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Dorning. “We look forward to a future emergency relief package that applies to all affected Americans, including those who have been laid off.”
DPE and its affiliated arts, entertainment, and media unions are calling on the federal government to include the following in its future COVID-19 related emergency relief legislation: