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Musicians’ Union urges musicians not to work free at London Olympics

Ahren Lester
Musicians’ Union urges musicians not to work free at London Olympics

The Musicians’ Union (MU) has urged professional musicians not to work for free at the London 2012 Olympics taking place next month.

The MU announced on their website that they had been investigating the situation since April this year and that they have “uncovered several instances of professional musicians being asked to work for no fee at the Olympics.”

These instances have been described by the MU as “completely unacceptable” and the union goes on to urge musicians who have been approached to perform for free during the epic sporting event to call their MU Regional Officer.

According to the MU they have contacted the LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) as well as others about the issue.

“We are also in touch with the TUC,” added the union, “as LOCOG signed a Principles of Cooperation with them which specifically states that professional workers will be paid for their services and are distinct from the unpaid volunteer workforce.”

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The union—which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sections of the music business—have thus decided to make moves to remedy the situation.

“LOCOG have repeatedly told us that all professional musicians will be paid,” explained the MU’s Assistant General Secretary, Horace Trubridge, “and yet we’ve seen example after example of them breaking their word. If they want musicians to entertain thousands of people then they should pay for it.  It is difficult enough to earn a decent living as a professional musician these days – where does this idea come from that musicians should be happy to work for free?  Who else would be?”

The union has opened a campaign to bring this issue to the attention of the broader public.

“We need as many musicians as possible to come forward about this so that we can put as much pressure on LOCOG as possible,” added Trubridge. “We will also be bringing it to the attention of the general public so that they can decide whether they think it’s fair that musicians are not being paid whilst most of the other professionals involved are.”

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Tags: musicians union, olympic games, London 2012 Olympics, london 2012

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