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


Home » Officer Columns » Wind Up Your Summer the Union Way

Wind Up Your Summer the Union Way

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

During August and early September, especially during Labor Day weekend, millions of American workers will enjoy their hard-earned time off. Though vacation is time off from your job, it’s not a time to leave your union membership behind. Don’t forget to recognize the thousands of fellow union workers who are employed in the travel and entertainment industries by looking for union made products and union service and entertainment workers wherever you go. The good news is that while supporting your fellow union workers, you can also enjoy Union Plus savings.

Before you begin planning your vacation check out the Union Plus Travel Center to find exclusive union discounts on flights, rail service, hotels, car rental, entertainment, and tour and vacation packages. If you are taking a road trip, be sure it’s in a union-made car. Check out the union-made consumer buying guide to find union-built cars, trucks, and vans.

If you will be staying in a hotel, visit to find a socially responsible union hotel. To know which hotels you should avoid check out the boycott list,

Many popular vacation destinations—theme parks, resorts, and state and national parks—are staffed by union workers. There are more than 18 unions that represent various workers at theme parks. Plus, the AFM and Actors’ Equity represent many theme park entertainers. For discounts on theme park visits, including Disneyland and Adventure Island in Florida; Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Hershey Park, and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania; Legoland and Disneyland in California; and many others, visit For discounts to movies, museums, sporting events, and more, visit:

If you plan to see a “Broadway” tour make sure it is supported by live music from AFM musicians and actors that belong to Actors’ Equity. Many touring productions are billed as “direct from Broadway”—but performers and stage managers on Broadway work under Actors’ Equity contracts and the musicians have AFM contracts. They are ensured fair pay, benefits, and job protections, and that means actors and musicians can give you their all in every performance. For more information, visit:

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) represents thousands of municipal workers at city and state parks and zoos. US Interior Department workers who staff federal parks and monuments are also union-represented—by the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), an affiliate of the International Association of Machinists (IAM). The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) represents many workers who build exhibits, conduct research, and maintain the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, airport, textile, manufacturing, distribution, laundry, and transportation industries in the US and Canada are represented by UNITEHERE! Plus, thousands of employees working in Major League Baseball stadiums are represented by AFSCME, UNITEHERE!, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

As summer winds down, many working families are thinking about going back to school, and you can again save with Union Plus. Visit for scholarship options, debt reduction grants, financial aid and college selection advice, and savings on Princeton Review college test prep courses and textbooks.

When it comes time to shop for school supplies this year, don’t forget to stand in solidarity with the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) by boycotting Staples, Staples Advantage, and its branded products. Learn more and sign a petition at: Visit for a list of brand names and products to look for.

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