As Contract Negotiations Near, Musicians Demand a Fair Share in the New Year

Entertainment Workers are Rising Up: Musicians are Next!

Just as writers and actors fought the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for better wages and strengthened contract protections over many long months in 2023, so too will musicians come January 22.

Contract negotiations for the AFM Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture agreements with the AMPTP will take place here in Los Angeles, and AFM members throughout the U.S. and Canada are working together on the grassroots AFM Fair Share for Musicians campaign.

Topping the list of musicians’ demands are improved industry wages, residual payments for made-for-streaming content, and AI protections, all of which are crucial for the ability for musicians to make a living performing film and TV work venerated around the world.

On December 6, an AFM Fair Share for Musicians “Road to Negotiations” meeting was held at Local 47. This meeting was a mix of in-person and Zoom attendees from throughout the United States. AFM International President Tino Gagliardi and other key members of the bargaining unit met with participants to discuss the AFM Fair Share for Musicians campaign vision, strategies for the negotiations, the uniqueness of this moment in the entertainment industry and labor history, and what the AFM Fair Share for Musicians campaign has been doing to prepare for negotiations.

AFM Local 47 Members Sound Off: ‘Why I’m Fighting’

Marcus Ely, clarinet
“One of the most important things in being a musician is getting a fair wage. That’s what we really want. At the end of the session, at the end of the work week, at the end of the year, there needs to be something in terms of health and welfare payments, and particularly pensions. That’s very important to me.”


Ariel Chapman, viola
“I would really love to see not only an increase in wages for new media but also residuals on the back end, particularly when it comes to movies that are made for streaming. Those are full-length productions that I think it would be only fair to be compensated for once it actually comes to market. Just like the actors and the writers, I’m fighting for our fair share.”


Karl Vincent, bass
“I’m fighting for fair residuals for musicians as well as protections against new technologies. One of the things I’d like to change about our contract is the residual structure; I think it’s unfair. Another thing I’d like to change, somehow, some way, is the relationship between composers and musicians and producers, I think that’s enormously unfair. I really think it should not be a case where composers have to pay the musicians. The producers have to pay the musicians.”


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