Labor News Update

October 9, 2023

2023 has been a massive year for the labor movement.  Unions are up in popularity, which has only increased with the Summer of Strikes you have no doubt read some about. The number of people now in union jobs has significantly increased over the last few years and is still rising, though the number of non-union jobs has also increased, so the corporate media is still able to claim that union density is down. However, this is due to broken labor laws, not because of disapproval or disinterest.  More can be read on this at

The first strike this summer to get big media coverage was the Writers Guild of America, who were striking the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. They walked out over wages and also the use of Artificial Intelligence.  As of Wednesday September 27, that strike is now over, though the agreement is still pending ratification. The writers got many of the things they were asking for. More can be read at

Still on strike against the AMPTP  is SAG-AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the largest of our fellow entertainment unions. Their strike began two months after that of the WGA, and for much the same reasons, including residuals and the use of AI. More can be read at

Also ongoing is the largest strike ever in the auto industry, that of the UAW against all three of the biggest auto making companies – Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis (formerly known as Chrysler). The most recent polls show the popularity of these companies rapidly declining, and that majorities of both Democrat and Republican voters support the strike. President Biden joined the picket line in Wayne Co., Michigan, becoming the first sitting President ever to do so. According to union leadership, Ford is ready to do a deal, and talks have been moving forward in the last few days. More can be read at

Most recently, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (which includes Locals from the Office and Professional Employees, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, the Service Employees International Union, and the National Union of Healthcare Workers) last week held a three-day unfair-labor-practice (ULP) strike which included more than 75,000 workers nationwide, making it the largest ever strike in that industry. They are trying to improve patient safety and quality of care. More can be read at

The AFM has been involved in support of all these strikes, and is currently in the middle of its own contract campaign with the AMPTP, called Fair Share For Musicians. They will be bargaining for a fair share of streaming royalties. This fight does not just involve recording musicians – it will have a significant effect on the overall health of our union. The streaming residuals musicians are seeking would be paid through our locals, creating the kind of revenue stream that supports our wealthier entertainment unions such as SAG-AFTRA. It is about economic and social justice, and reversing the income inequality gap, just like all these other campaigns/strikes in other unions.  Here is a quote from Marc Sazer, President of the Recording Musicians Association and Vice-President of Local 47 Los Angeles: 

WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR: For more than a decade, musicians working on made-for-streaming movies and TV shows have been exploited by the multi-billion dollar media conglomerates that make up the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers Association. Recording musicians performing on soundtracks are making 75 percent less on content premiering on streaming platforms. These musicians, like singers and actors, create unique performances that are captured in real time  —  yet, they are not being compensated accordingly for streaming media. This is because the entertainment industry has fundamentally shifted. Content now premieres primarily on streaming platforms rather than in movie theatres and on network television. This shift has resulted in considerably less residual income for musicians, threatening our livelihoods. In essence, the talent bringing scores to life is being commoditized without a fair share of the considerable profits made by companies such as Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. This practice is neither fair nor sustainable. Musicians, essential to the streaming economy, demand a fair contract which includes streaming residuals.” More on this campaign can be found at

I encourage all of you to sign the petition on the campaign’s website, and to join their email list to keep informed of developments.