Why We Organize

What is Organizing and Why Should I Do It?

Organizing is taking ordinary people and empowering them to do extraordinary things. By coming together with other musicians at engagements, you are changing the basic power relationship between yourselves and the employer/venue owner/booking agency.

More than a hundred years ago musicians of New York City came together to demand better wages and working conditions from employers by forming the Musical Musician Protective Union (MMPU), our predecessor. Since then, because of collective action, Local 802 musicians working under collective bargaining agreements enjoy the benefits of the world’s largest musicians union. Now, more than ever before, we must stand united as artists and workers. We are under attack from an administration in Washington which wants to roll back protections that thousands of musicians and other workers have fought for and won.

Organizing is about raising expectations. Imagine if that cash gig could turn into a pathway to a secure retirement, or access to affordable health care, or both? Imagine if your work was protected by recording contracts and secure intellectual property rights so that you could leave a legacy for your family?

How Much are Union Dues and What Do They Pay For?

Like any serious organization, it takes resources and funding to run a union. Union dues pay for contract enforcement, legal services, office support, union newsletters, and organizing.

Union membership dues are $220 per year. And every time you work on an engagement you pay work dues, which is a percentage of your gross pay, depending on the type of engagement.