AFTRA and AFM Unions Endorse New Teamsters Composers Union Efforts

By • April 30, 2010

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists [AFTRA] which represents vocalists and the American Federation of Musicians [AFM] which represents musicians have jointly endorsed the new composers union being organized with the Teamsters.

Click here to download the AFTRA/AFM endorsement letter.

In a letter this week, AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Robergs Hedgpeth and AFM President Thomas Lee offered the support of their organizations to composers and lyricists, stating, “We support your efforts to assist composers and lyricists to organize through the Teamsters and your efforts to be recognized by the employers’ association.”

The union endorsements come on the heels of strong support by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in the form of an agreement letter approved by the WGA Executive Board on March 2 where the WGA supports composers’ stance against having to write music for free as a condition of auditioning for a job. The letter focuses on composers being asked to write music for free as a condition of a “bake-off” competition once a short list of composers has been identified for a project, and in clear and unequivocal language states that the WGA believes that “once writing at any level is seen as “free” it compromises writing on all levels.”

Click here to download the WGA agreement letter.

While the composers union has stated that they are pursuing a “benefits-only” approach with the television and motion picture producers, the AFTRA and AFM support opens the door for mutually beneficial agreements to be created between the composers union and organizations representing musicians and vocalists similar to the existing “no free music” agreement with the WGA. Future potential deals with music editors (a part of the IATSE trade union) and the newly established music supervisors association could create even more diversified industry support to help establish better workplace conditions for composers and eliminate unreasonable workplace demands, such as free music, on composers.


By Les Hurdle on June 15th, 2010 at 6:01 am

Wow, I see Mr Bellis is still alive and well.

Having spoken to the Teamsters rep. make no mistake about it, if there is a strike, composers will be expected to honor the picket line.

Here’s the really sad part… and kudos to Mr Bellis/Mark………. so few on this list are prepared to put their names to their POV……. wimps.
Little wonder composers get shafted.


By Les Hurdle on December 29th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

By Richard Bellis on May 8th, 2010 at 18:22

There are those who do and those who critique.
Four years ago those who do stepped up to the plate.
There is no competition here. Merely criticism. No one else has done diddley except these wealthy, mean old men.

If you have a problem, where were you four years ago? Go to other unions and see how much interest you can drum up. The only thing easier, is to blog criticism. And this is definitely the right place for that!

Well said Richard given that I’m sure you expect to be one of ‘the chosen few’… just like ASCAP.

Unless a ‘union’ encompasses all then just like ASCAP et al the ‘chosen’ one’s will benefit and to hell with everyone else………. where were you when the AACO made a few facts very clear…. you hid then 😉

Very best


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