2021 AGMA Labor Day Message

Published September 6, 2021   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Happy Labor Day.

Like Labor Day last year, and like all of the days over the past year and a half, we continue to face the risks of an ever-changing global pandemic. Sadly, our beloved Labor Day Parade hosted by the New York City Central Labor Council and other events union members participate in across the country to celebrate solidarity have changed drastically, have moved to a virtual setting, or have been canceled entirely.

This Labor Day is not the Labor Day we had hoped 2021 would bring, but that does not negate the progress that AGMA Artists have made. AGMA Artists have continued to sing, dance, create and fight for what’s right, fair, equitable, and moral in this world.  We have accomplished so much and should be proud of our work.

Throughout the pandemic, many AGMA Artists have been able to secure relief payments or payouts of canceled contracts, maintain existing employer-provided health insurance, and work with their companies on safety protocols that have allowed collaborative work to begin again. The AGMA/SDC Return to Stage and Performing Arts Playbook is a recognized and highly regarded document throughout our industry and beyond.

AGMA is currently bargaining for tangible change within our companies and has won some very important anti-racism protections and processes in many of our contracts. As an example, the full scope of DEI proposals and gains in the new CBA with the Metropolitan Opera can be viewed in this video, which features the DEI Committee members of the Met AGMA Negotiating Committee. We encourage members to review any number of AGMA contracts by logging into MyAGMA. From the MyAGMA dropdown menu, members will find "Contracts & Agreements."

Your work, whether in an official AGMA capacity on the AGMA Board of Governors, within an AGMA Caucus or Committee, as a Union Delegate, or by your individual activism helps ensure the future of the Performing Arts, forever changing them for the better. You are returning to an improved industry because you demanded the industry hold itself accountable. These improvements are directly tied to your dedication. That’s the beauty of work like this; if each generation does better than the one that came before, equality, safety, and justice will advance, resulting in the expansion of access, protections, opportunity, and representation for all.

It has been a great joy to see so many of you back at rehearsals and inside the studio. Your perseverance in pursuit of your passion inspires countless people.  Our audiences look forward to our return and return we will!

AGMA Artists have repeatedly shown that we know how to turn times of despair into times of hope. Now seems like a perfect moment to recommit to building a better future for all workers. We are AGMA and we will continue to press on.

Happy Labor Day to all.

Ray Menard

AGMA President