Upon the recent announcement that a supermajority of Netflix’s Music Supervisors filed for an official election at the labor board to unionize with IATSE, the Guild of Music Supervisors has released the following statement in support of the effort:
The Guild of Music Supervisors is a non-profit membership-based organization founded to provide professional and educational support to those working both in the field, and adjacent to, the craft of music supervision. GMS proudly advocates for the rights and benefits of Music Supervisors around the world, and in recent years it has become very evident that a majority of U.S.-based Music Supervisors wish to unionize in an effort to have the same rights, privileges, and protections that their fellow production co-workers have as members of a union.
The Guild of Music Supervisors strongly stands behind these unionization efforts by Music Supervisors and their desire to combine forces with IATSE. GMS will continue to educate, advocate, communicate, and build bridges across the industry in pursuit of recognition and fairness for all who work in the craft of Music Supervision (as defined here).
However, it needs to be reiterated that the Guild of Music Supervisors is not the same as the union, and the union is not the same as the Guild. We are not the collective bargaining agent behind these efforts. We will, though, continue to support those in our community who are organizing with IATSE and all who are working hard to improve the quality of life for Music Supervisors.
Netflix has thus far denied requests to voluntarily recognize the Music Supervisors union, just as earlier this year, the AMPTP refused to recognize film and television Music Supervisors’ collective decision to unionize industry-wide, despite more than 75 percent supporting unionizing with IATSE. Netflix is presently the largest employer of Music Supervisors out of any studio in the AMPTP, while its top-rated series Stranger Things boosted Kate Bush‘s 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill” to reach #1 on several influential music charts more than 35 years after its debut. A music supervisor either made that key decision or helped the team settle on that choice, which yielded powerful results.
Music supervisors are fighting to be treated fairly and equitably compared to their unionized co-workers; gain access to Industry Healthcare and Retirement plans; standardize Pay Rates to tamp down on discrimination and pay disparities; address structures that enable studios to delay workers’ pay for months at a time; have a seat at the table to negotiate with employers in good faith; and win an enforceable and codified union contract.
This is the first time Music Supervisors have taken their case to the labor board, where they intend to win an opportunity to make their voices heard through a democratic, official board election, as they feel strongly that the terms of their employment do not reflect their increased workload or the cultural impact of their work.