#WhyUnion? Mike Vaccaro

This organization represents the best musicians in the world for negotiations of wages and working conditions. The major reason to join the union is to play with the best musicians. Other perks include the good guaranteed wages, health insurance and a pension fund that helps you make your retirement plans. In your younger years you decide if you need a supplementary retirement plan depending on how much union work you do. You also have the staff of the union to help resolve disagreements with employers.

Then there are the obligations. As a fraternal organization, members are obliged to help other members keep up the standards of other musicians. The only way the union really works is when the members are committed to uphold and protect the wage and benefits for all musicians.

Other than your own church there is no reason for you to work non-union. That is what keeps our standards safe. If you want to use the union when it is convenient and do scab work when it is not convenient you lower the standard for all musicians. If you are asked to work non-union, talk to our President or other staff member that you trust on how the situation can be brought up to the union standards.

Without faithful members it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to do the job we elect them for. So, when you join our union please take your oath seriously.

You will have a great union if you are a good member. No one can defeat a group of strong, determined musicians that are willing to stand together.

– Mike Vaccaro, Clarinetist
Member since 1966