American Federation of Musicians
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM/AFofM) is a labor union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 of profession
A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....

al musician
A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

s in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. In deference to the differing laws and cultural attributes of each country, in the US it is referred to as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and in Canada as the Canadian Federation of Musicians/Fédéracion canadienne des musicienes (CFM/FCM).

The American Federation of Musicians was founded in 1896, at which time it took over from an older and looser organization of local musicians unions, the National League of Musicians.

Among the most famous actions by the AFM was a ban on all commercial recording by members in 1942–44
1942-44 musicians' strike
On August 1, 1942, the American Federation of Musicians, at the instigation of union president James Petrillo, started a strike against the major American recording companies because of disagreements over royalty payments...

, in order to pressure record companies
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

 to make a better arrangement for paying royalties to recording artists. This was sometimes called the Petrillo Ban, because James Petrillo
James Petrillo
James Caesar Petrillo was the prominent leader of the American Federation of Musicians, a trade union of professional musicians in the United States and Canada.-Biography:Petrillo was born in Chicago, Illinois...

 was the newly–elected head of the union. Petrillo also organized a second recording ban in 1948 (from January 1 to December 14), in response to the Taft–Hartley Act.

AFM requires its member orchestras to exclude all spectators during rehearsals.


  • 1896–1900 Owen Miller
  • 1900–1914 Joseph Weber
  • 1914–1915 Frank Carothers
  • 1915–1940 Joseph Weber
  • 1940–1958 James C. Petrillo
  • 1958–1970 Herman D. Kenin
    Herman D. Kenin
    Herman D. Kenin was an American trade unionist.He was head of American Federation of Musicians and later was a leader at American Federation of Labor. His work landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents....

  • 1970–1978 Hal Davis
  • 1978–1987 Victor Fuentealba
  • 1987–1991 Martin Emerson
  • 1991–1995 Mark Massagli
  • 1995–2001 Steve Young
  • 2001–2010 Tom Lee
  • 2010–Present Ray Hair
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