On this auspicious Labor Day weekend, AGMA honors all of the Union’s members who illuminate our lives with their talents. There are so many ways to be an AGMA member. First and foremost is to work to enliven this industry with your incredible artistry.
We are a union of Artists who have come together to fight for one another and to raise our voices in unison so that we can achieve sustainable careers in the performing arts. Every Artist who works to improve the opera, ballet, and concert industries, to make our workplaces safer, more equitable, and more livable, makes it possible for their colleagues and the next generation of artists to do what they love, so we thank you for your commitment to your colleagues, your union, and the performing arts.
We also honor all those who choose to get involved in AGMA’s leadership. Your active engagement, whether on AGMA's Board, as a delegate in your shop, or as a member of a negotiating committee, is integral to our shared success. Your colleagues rely on you in moments of celebration and difficult times alike. Thank you for being the heart and soul of our union!
This Labor Day falls during what AFL-CIO has dubbed “The Summer of Strikes.” As we celebrate Labor Day, we cannot ignore the courage and determination of our sibling unions currently on strike. It has been an honor to stand alongside those courageous artists at the rallies and on the picket lines. Their strength of will and willingness to sacrifice individual desires for the whole is an inspiration. We have seen that steadfastness reflected in our own recent negotiations, where we have shown resolve and determination with overwhelming votes to strike if necessary.
Amidst the backdrop of all of this is solidarity. We are all part of one union, and we share the same struggle. These ongoing fights remind us that the uphill battle for workers' rights is far from over, and while the summer might be nearing its end, our fortitude is in infinite supply. Unions have faced decades of anti-worker propaganda, misinformation, and corporate attacks, and we are still here. We aren’t going anywhere. Our numbers are growing. Because, hey, it’s better in a union.
AGMA Artists have repeatedly shown that we know how to turn times of despair into times of hope. Over the past few years, AGMA has navigated through a pandemic and achieved remarkable milestones, weathering numerous instances of union-busting and emerging from each challenge stronger and more united than before.
As we reflect on the progress we've achieved and the trials that no doubt lie ahead, let us renew our dedication to building a better future for all workers in the Performing Arts.
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Ned Hanlon, AGMA President
Sam Wheeler, National Executive Director