Olympics bosses try to exploit musicians
One London Olympics scandal does not seem to be enough.
Two London Olympics scandals do not seem to be enough.
After the Olympic missiles on people’s homes… the military aircraft above London… the Olympic sponsorship by Dow Chemical of Agent Orange and Bhopal disasterfame … the Olympic sponsorship by BPof the Gulf of Mexico pollution … the Olympic medalsby another polluting corporation, Rio Tinto … the London transport bosses getting bonuses contrary to the workers who have to deal with the extra passengers … the Saudi women athletes who won’t be at the games … the Bahraini prince who is expected to be at the games, contrary to the athletes whom he tortured…By Adrian Roberts in England:
Olympics ‘exploit’ unsigned artists
Angry musicians accused Olympic organisers Locog of exploiting unsigned artists today by asking them to perform at the games for free.
The Unsigned Band Review is looking for 80 acts to perform to hundreds of thousands of visitors over the course of the games in the Olympic park – for no fee.
But Musicians Union(MU) assistant general secretary Horace Trubridge said: “Locog is saying this is OK because the bands are going to be amateur musicians, but that is simply not true.
“If it was school bands then it might be a different thing but unsigned bands are not amateurs. In many cases they expect to be – and get – paid for performing live and Locog is exploiting them under the guise of an unsigned band competition.
“This competition aside, the MU has been gathering countless recent examples of Locog directly approaching professional musicians to play for free.
“We are asking the government and the mayor of London to condemn Locog’s actions and we are also calling on musicians who have been asked to work for free at the Olympics to refuse to play.”
Musician with Barbican Brass Steve Haynes added: “As a professional musician I was outraged to receive an email from Locog looking for talent and asking Barbican Brass to play unpaid at a venue in the Olympic park.
“Apparently it was a chance to showcase our talent.
“Locog is completely disregarding the terms of its agreement with the MU at a time when I could really do with the work due to my show being closed over the Olympics.
“I can’t imagine other professions being asked to work for free.”
Unfortunately, this is not limited to musicians as eg, in London stewards for the queen’s diamond jubilee got no wages and were forced to sleep under bridges.
However, public indignation and pressure on bosses sometimes do work.
After the earlier Adrian Roberts article, the Musicians Union reportedon the same day:
Unsigned Band Review to pay musicians
Unsigned Band Review (UBR) has now updated the terms and conditions on its website and is paying bands to take part in the Unsigned Bands competition at the Olympics.
When the Musicians’ Union (MU) printed off the terms and conditions of the competition from the UBR website on Friday last week, the only mention of payment was in terms of expenses:
‘Payment for expenses will be discussed on an individual basis.’
Crucially, the terms and conditions have now changed so that they read:
‘Payment for fees and expenses will be discussed on an individual basis.’
The MU was also informed by LOCOG that the competition was not a breach of the LOCOG-MU agreement, because the bands were going to be ‘amateur musicians.’
Horace Trubridge, MU Assistant General Secretary says:
“We couldn’t be happier that UBR are going to be paying the bands to appear in the competition. As we said yesterday, just because a band is unsigned it does not mean that they are amateurs. Many of them are professional musicians who should be receiving fair payment under the agreement we have with LOCOG.
“We have yet to receive a copy of the agreement that UBR has with the artists who will be appearing at the competition, but if they are going to be paid a fair fee for their work then we applaud UBR.”
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