|To all members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47:
Our contracts are the heart of our union. Whatever we achieve through collective action and collective bargaining is secured because management signs agreements. Our contracts allow us to make sure employers do what they are obligated to do. They raise the expectations of all musicians for pay, benefits, and professional treatment.
Recently, those contracts have been put at serious risk. Members of Local 47 are being asked to record music for major, well-funded projects without union contracts. If union contracts are made irrelevant by work done in the shadows, the floor for pay will drop for both union and non-union musicians. These employment practices are especially divisive and pernicious because they exert enormous pressure on individual union members.
We all know what it is like to wonder where your next call is going to come from or how you are going to pay your bills. No single musician can stop the forces that undermine our profession, but as a union we have always been able to push back.
We believe that it is now necessary to take action together. We call upon the Federation and other AFM Locals to unite with our membership in defense of our union and our contracts. In the coming months we will be launching a campaign to uphold our contracts, to recapture work being done in the shadows and to ensure that musicians can earn a livable wage working in Los Angeles.
Our goals are:
1. To ensure fair pay, benefits, and professional treatment for musicians.
2. To protect our union’s ability to bargain, administer and uphold our contracts.
3. To bring more work under union agreements.
We, the Executive Board of AFM Local 47, are committed to building a stronger, more successful future together.
– AFM Local 47 Executive Board