AFM secures tentative agreement with AMPTP, delivering historic wins for musicians

Volume 124, No. 3March, 2024


The AFM has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture contracts, reports the union in a press release. The agreement, unanimously recommended by the bargaining committee, represents a significant victory for musicians working in film and television.

“This agreement is a major win for musicians who have long been under-compensated for their work in the digital age,” declared AFM President Tino Gagliardi. “We have secured historic breakthroughs in streaming residuals, established critical guardrails against the misuse of AI, gained meaningful wage increases, and made other important improvements. This agreement represents a watershed moment for the artists who create the soundtracks for countless film and TV productions.”

The fight for a contract began with working musicians, including key members of Local 802 who were involved in the 2019 negotiations. This time around, they and their Local 47 counterparts named the new campaign Fair Share for Musicians, produced educational seminars, and began organizing at the grassroots level. As the campaign heated up this year, Local 802 members David Horne, Matthew Lehmann, David Mansfield, Josh Plotner, Weston Sprott, Colin Williams and Sharon Yamada all spoke out publicly; see here and below for their testimonials.

Variety reported that the new tentative agreement contains “residuals on the first-run airings (aka the ‘primary market’) that begins after an initial 26-week exhibition period. Moreover, the AFM secured the ‘performance bonuses’ along the lines of the 2023 contracts for the WGA, SAG-AFTRA and Directors Guild of America that generate additional payments on popular series that hit pre-determined viewership benchmarks.”

In the same story, Variety reported that the AI provisions in the agreement are “similar in concept to the protections secured by SAG-AFTRA in November after a five-month strike.”

“We don’t want our product being put into an AI engine to create a musical line or score from whole cloth,” Gagliardi told Variety. “We don’t want a sax solo from one of our members being thrown into an AI engine to have something created artificially.”

Full details of the contract will remain confidential until the agreement is approved for a ratification vote by the members who work under this contract.

“I want to congratulate our AFM Fair Share for Musicians bargaining unit members for their unwavering commitment to fighting for a contract that fairly compensates them for their invaluable contributions to film and TV and protects them in the ever-changing film and television industry,” Gagliardi said. “We were not alone in this negotiation, and we were proud to have the full backing of fellow unions SAG-AFTRA, Writers Guild of America, IATSE and the Teamsters. It was yet another powerful reminder that when we have solidarity in the labor movement, we can achieve great things. We also would like to thank Carol Lombardini, president of the AMPTP, as well as the AMPTP and its member companies, for helping bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

The tentative agreement will now be submitted for ratification by the members working under the Basic Theatrical Motion Picture and Basic Television Motion Picture contracts, pending AFM International Executive Board approval.