Is There A Union For Musicians?

As the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes seem to be coming to an end, with negotiations scheduled for this coming Monday (October 2), many film and television viewers are impressed by the power these strikes have had, and the impact they’ve made throughout the industry. But as we’ve seen the results these strikes will yield, other creatives are wondering if these types of unions exist in other realms of creativity.

With platforms like TikTok and Spotify, discovering new music is easier than it’s ever been. An artist has several avenues to share their work. However, conversations about who owns whose masters, as well as meager streaming payouts, remain a hot topic in the music industry.

Is there a union for musicians?

According to an article published by Rolling Stone in 2019, two organizations exist that are designed to provide artists with creative power and control.

One of which is the American Federation Of Musicians, which Rolling Stone reported covered around 70,000 instrumentalist musicians. Rolling Stone also reported that SAG-AFTRA’s sound recordings department also covered around 5,000 vocalists.

The Rolling Stone article notes that these two major unions primarily cater to major-label vocalists and instrumentalists “who work mostly with orchestras or in opera or musical theater.”