The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM/AFofM) is a labor union representing professionalmusicians in the United States and Canada. The AFM, which has its headquarters in New York City, is led by president Raymond M. Hair, Jr. Founded in Cincinnati in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. They accomplish this by negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, and lobbying legislators. In deference to the differing laws and cultural attributes of each country, in the US it is referred to as the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and in Canada as the Canadian Federation of Musicians/Fédération canadienne des musiciens (CFM/FCM).
The Musical Mutual Protective Union of New York became Local 301 of the American Federation of Musicians in 1902. In 1904, the local had 5,000 members, who were almost entirely German. In 1910, approximately 300 black musicians were members in the roughly 8,000-member local. The local lost its charter in 1921 in a disagreement with the parent union.
Among the most famous actions by the AFM was a ban on all commercial recording by members in 1942–44, in order to pressure record companies to make a better arrangement for paying royalties to recording artists. This was sometimes called the Petrillo Ban, because James Petrillo was the newly–elected head of the union. Petrillo also organized a second recording ban in 1948 (from January 1 to December 14), in response to the Taft–Hartley Act.