Musicians Union Lends 'Full Support' to SAG-AFTRA Merger

11:43 AM PST 02/28/2012 by Jonathan Handel
AFM President Ray Hair

The AFM joins Actors Equity in endorsing the proposed merger.

The American Federation of Musicians has endorsed SAG/AFTRA merger, the AFM said in a statement Monday night, adding that the union’s international executive board had communicated “its full support” to AFTRA and SAG.

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“The proposed merger is a historic step and is a symbol of Unity for the entertainment sector and for the entire labor movement,” said AFM president Ray Hair. “For decades, AFTRA and SAG have stood prominently and proudly for dignity and justice in the entertainment industry workplace. The joining of these two great unions—SAG-AFTRA—will focus Union power toward a better future for the media business, not only here in the United States but throughout the world.” 

Although AFTRA is often referenced in Hollywood as a union representing actors and broadcasters (although the latter are only about 8% of the union, or 4% of a merged SAG-AFTRA), singers are also an important part of the membership. Thus, particularly on major label tracks, the singers are usually AFTRA members while the instrumentalists are AFM. Both unions have contracts with the major record labels.

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Last week, Actors Equity endorsed SAG/AFTRA merger. Both AFM and Equity, as well as IATSE, endorsed a 2003 merger attempt, That effort failed when SAG fell 2% short of the requisite 60% supermajority.

Email: jhandel@att.net

Twitter: @jhandel

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