100th AFM Convention

100th AFM Convention

The 100th AFM Convention (Musicians’ Union of US and Canada) took place in Las Vegas (Nevada) from 20 to 25 June 2016.

After a curtain-raising, high-flying music evening on 19 June (The Quebe Sisters Band, The Las Vegas Jazz Connection with Tom Bones Malone, Dan Higgins, Marvin Stamm) in the presence of Bennie Thompson (Congress member), the convention gave the floor to several speakers, in particular David White (Executive Director, SAG-AFTRA), Kate Shindle (President, Actors’ Equity), Mike Huppe (President and CEO, SoundExchange), Dan Beck (Music Performance Trust Fund), Dennis Dreith (Executive Director, AFM & SAG-AFTRA Fund), Benoît Machuel (General Secretary, FIM).
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The BMU Reacts to Vote to Leave European Union *

BMU logo

* As published on the BMU website

The Musicians’ Union has made no secret of the fact that it was overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the European Union. We believe that the benefits of remaining for musicians were overwhelming and now have serious concerns about what the future holds for our members.

As John Smith, General Secretary of the MU, explains:

“We suspect that this will be very bad news for musicians. Over the years MU members have benefited from open borders, a protective copyright regime and various directives which directly benefit them in their workplaces.
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OIRA: Free tool for risk assessment in the live performance sector

OIRA Final Conference

In Athens on 15 and 16 June 2016, European social partners from the live performance sector and the European Occupational Safety and Health Agency (EU-OSHA) organised a final conference presenting two interactive risk assessment tools (OIRA), intended respectively for live performance venues and productions.

The conference was aimed at representatives of the live performance sector from a considerable number of UE member states. After a series of debates on the risks to which sector professionals are exposed and mechanisms for prevention, the online tools were presented in detail so that each participant could understand how they worked.
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United Kingdom | MU position on Europe

BMU logoThe British Musicians’ Union (MU) has reaffirmed its support for Britain remaining part of the European Union (EU)

For musicians, the benefits of Britain staying in the EU are numerous.

Open borders make touring both easier and less expensive, EU health and safety legislation has meant that the job of being a musician has become safer and workers’ rights legislation in general has improved the working life of musicians in the UK. The Working Time Directive, for instance, redefined the definition of a worker for the purposes of working time, and meant that for the first time we were able to claim holiday pay for part-time instrumental teachers.
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France | The employer of Belarusian musicians sentenced for not respecting the applicable collective agreement

Lac des cygnes | Minsk Bolchoi

In the spring of 2014, the FranceConcert company organised a six-week tour in France for a production of Swan Lake by the Orchestra and Bolshoi Opera Ballet of Minsk.

During the tour, musicians received their usual wages (€350 a month on average) as well as a cash allowance of €40 a day. They were subject to particularly difficult working conditions, performing up to 13 days consecutively without a single day of rest. At the same time, FranceConcert sold up to 5,000 places per concert at around €50 per unit.
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Extended collective management in Hungary | EJI forces Deezer to comply with the law

Dr Pál Tomori | EJI Director

When the WPPT was transposed in 1999, Hungarian legislation subjected online rights for authors and performers to extended collective management. This choice was in response to the massive character of online uses and significant imbalance in negotiations between artists and producers.

Since collective management is not, however, mandatory, performers and authors are free to opt individually for other forms of managing their rights.

An agreement was signed in 2004 between EJI (the organisation for collective management of performers’ rights) and Majors.
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Europe | Unionizing atypical workers in the entertainment and media sectors

Atypical workers WS | Rome

The fourth and last workshop of the project on atypical workers on which FIA, UNI-MEI and EFJ have worked together was held in Rome, on 7 and 8 April 2016, with the participation of ILO and ETUC representatives. It focused on means implemented by unions to organise representation of “atypical” workers who are on the increase in the entertainment and media sectors.

Among these workers, the youngest –often in a situation of precarious employment– are the most difficult when it comes to raising awareness, and this is worrying.
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Brazil | Musicians take position about the political crisis

Dilma Roussef, President of Brazil

Musicians’ Manifest

Brazil currently faces the possibility of a setback in historic achievements for which the Brazilian people fought hard. A Constitution focused on citizenship, built after a murky state of emergency period is about to be demeaned by politicians who act exclusively based on corporatist interests and moved by more malicious intents.

A democratically elected president faces an “impeachment” process without any crime of responsibility that can be attributed to her management. The Constitution is clear; jurists, public personalities, politicians and statesmen from Brazil and the world have demonstrated the absurdity of what is about to be perpetrated in Congress.
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