Musicians Emotionally Blackmailed Into Free Charity Gigs
Next month’s TUC annual three day conference in London will see The Musicians’ Union push to back a move to give people a choice on whether or not they work for free as they feel that professional musicians are being “emotionally blackmailed” into working for free at charitable and fundraising events. The motion, which appears in the preliminary agenda, argues that there is nothing wrong in asking a worker to donate to a good cause, however, the union believed that it should be a choice made freely by an individual and not under duress.
It states: “It is extremely unfair to put professional musicians into a situation where they are emotionally blackmailed into working for no fee and are asked to give their services to a good cause […] This is particularly unjust when others associated with the event, such as venue staff, lawyers and caterers, are being paid.”
At the same time the Musician’s Union will also raise the issue of internships which do not pay a decent rate. The motion to the conference says it is “unfair for interns, who are often employed full-time, not to be paid the going rate for the work they do, just as it is wrong that many performing artists are expected to work for nothing when they are engaged for charitable and fundraising events”