Labor Day 2011

Dear Colleagues,

We offer you, your families and friends, very best wishes as you celebrate Labor Day. We hope it is a great holiday for all.

This is a great time to reflect on our deep debt to the courageous men and women throughout the Labor Movement. For decent and safe working conditions and basic protections on the job, we them so very much, even as struggles for social justice and worker rights continue.

As musicians, we enjoy some very clear benefits that are the direct result of sacrifice and activism by union members who came before us. Where would musicians be without strong and effective contracts on Broadway, on the concert stage and the theater pit, without our various Funds that distribute pension, residuals and performance rights moneys?

On this Labor Day, we would like to salute our union activists and leaders of today, the women and men who are protecting musicians’ rights for the next generation.

Our AFM Officers, still fresh after little more than a year in their new roles, are working hard to bring reform and success to our Union. Local Officers all around North America are wrestling with issues both local and global in an effort to help our AFM through its recovery. And rank and file musicians, from one corner of the continent to the other, are volunteering their time and creativity in order to help one another, and help all of us. Those dedicated musicians who act as leaders, researchers, secretaries, organizers, haulers and caterers and perform a million mundane tasks, all as volunteers, for ICSOM, OCSM, RMA, ROPA and TMA all are following in a long hallowed history of labor activism.
In our recognition of the contributions made to the strength of the American Federation of Musicians, RMA would like to extend a particular thanks to that group of little-noticed, hardworking and absolutely essential workers known collectively as “Staff”. From the offices of the AFM in New York, Canada and the West Coast, to individuals working in Locals large and small, our union could not run without their dedication and skill.

We are experiencing a historical moment of real danger for unions. Yet just as individual musicians gain strength by joining with colleagues into a union, our AFM has gained strength by forging new and better bonds with other unions. Our communication and reinvigorated relationships with the AFL-CIO, and with AFTRA, SAG, IATSE and other adjacent unions has brought real benefits to working musicians.

These are the connections that make us a union. Rank and file musicians, International and Local Officers, Player Conferences, staff, adjacent unions and guilds, and the labor movement as a whole make up a web of connections upon which each one of us depends for our ultimate success and strength.

To all of the human beings who make up the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, we wish you

Marc Sazer
President RMA