The IAEA alliance’s programme of activities for the audiovisual sector in India started on the 25 and 26 March 2013, with a seminar in Mumbai which brought together a dozen or so unions representing different sector professions.
Coordinated on site by Mr. Opender Chanana, the programme is backed by LO-TCO (Sweden), which is also FIM’s partner for capacity-building activities of musicians’ unions in Africa and Latin America.
Despite the personal commitment of their leaders, all volunteers, trade unions in the live performance and audiovisual sectors are not in a position to promote the process of social dialogue which the sector needs. The already existing sectoral agreement and legal provisions in the field of contracts are currently unheeded, doubtlessly in part because of the absence of professional permanent staff in these unions.
The programme will be continuing in 2013 with a more in-depth definition of the needs and priorities expressed by the unions concerned, with a view to giving concrete follow-up to these recommendations between 2014-2016, within the framework of a new project.
Participants at the Mumbai seminar unanimously adopted a declaration demanding rapid ratification by the Indian government of the Beijing Treaty protecting audiovisual performances.
Since a national capacity-building workshop was held in November 2011, organised by FIM with the backing of PPL and BMU, MFI (Indian member of FIM) has been increasing initiatives in the area of union training.
After a day dedicated to the issue of protecting musicians’ rights in March 2012, with the support of Mr Arunkumar Drare, Director of the Indian Institute of Workers Education, in December of the same year, MFI organised a 4-day training session aimed at highlighting the role and importance of trade unions in the music sector.
After ten years of work and commitment, on the 17 January 2013, MFI obtained official recognition as a union by Indian authorities.
MFI is currently preparing new training days on social protection and the prevention of risks, scheduled for July 2013, as well as a campaign on this issue targeting the Indian government. It is also thinking about creating a collecting society, following review in 2012 of the Indian Copyright Act, which gives performers a right of communication with the public. Currently, phonogram producers are the only ones to collect a remuneration from users on the basis of this right.
Seoul, Korea. On Aug. 24th, the Democratic United Party (main opposition party) took a strong stance against the outsourcing of the KBS Symphony, insisting that transferring the orchestra to a private institution would prevent it from delivering its mission of public service.
KBS has officially announced the dissolution of the KBSSO (taking effect on August 31st), without any prior discussion with the orchestra representatives nor the trade union. The KBS statement confirms that those musicians who will not sign the transfer agreement will cease to work for the orchestra – some of them might be appointed to administrative divisions of KBS without any link with music.
the vast majority of the musicians have decided not so sign the agreement
In spite of that, the vast majority of the musicians have decided not so sign the agreement, whose explicit purpose is cost cutting and renewal of personnel. The KBS Board made clear from April 25th that the Seoul Philharmonic was a model to be followed, whereas 5% of the musicians in that orchestra are fired every year. The KBSSO Foundation’s newly appointed CEO dismissed 23 musicians when he was holding office at the Kyeong-Gi Art Center. Later at the Incheon Art Center, he attempted to circumvent the statutory procedures in order to dismiss musicians more easily.
KBS has chosen a wrong path, which can only be damaging to the orchestra, the musicians, the public and the company’s image. It is still time however to redress this violent, ill-founded decision and, once for all, renounce re-auditions, which are unfair, inappropriate and counterproductive.