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 » Executive Board Members » Workers’ Rights Amendment Is Good for All Workers

Workers’ Rights Amendment Is Good for All Workers

  -  International Executive Board Member and President of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)

This November, the citizens of Illinois will be given the opportunity to make history. The Workers’ Rights Amendment will be the first issue on the ballot where voters will be asked to vote on giving protections to workers and unions. If passed, it will prohibit the passage of “right to work” laws and ban any law or local ordinance that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety.

Right to work laws shrink a union’s economic resources and thus weaken their bargaining power. As a result, union membership rates are significantly lower in the 27 right to work states than in the 23 free collective bargaining states.

A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy showed that union workers earn more, are more likely to have health care coverage and own their homes, and contribute more to their community. It’s all about building a better life with a strong middle class.

For the last 60 years, there has been a steady effort to erode the rights of workers and bust union organizing. We have seen the numbers of union members decrease. Without union solidarity, we have seen diminished economic growth and low workplace productivity.

This trend is changing. Public approval of unions is surging. Employees throughout our country are working to organize their workplaces, from coffee shops to warehouse stores. Union membership is growing, wages are increasing, and worker’s health has improved through better benefits and a safe work environment.

Illinois will be the first state to vote to bring this change to their constitution. It’s hoped that passing this amendment will attract people to the workforce and to our state by encouraging the migration of residents who want to work and live where there is stability, respect, and dignity. Higher paying, quality jobs will contribute to a strong economy.

I hope my state will serve as a model for other states in protecting the rights of workers, growing our middle class, and putting people’s needs upfront over the interests of big business. Keep watch on November 8 for the results of this groundbreaking legislation.

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