The TUC has accepted the MU’s motion asking that professional musicians should not be expected to work for free.
The motion asks for the TUC to support the MU in a campaign to raise awareness of this issue and ensure that all professional performers are paid fairly in all circumstances.
John Smith, MU General Secretary, says: “The MU believes that too many people seem to think that music and entertainment are a hobby rather than a career, and are unaware of the years of training and hard work that it takes to become a professional performer. This leads to performers being asked or expected to work for free in far too many instances.
“This summer’s Olympic Games brought the issue back to the fore. Despite the agreement between LOCOG and the TUC regarding fair terms and conditions and undertakings from LOCOG to the MU that professional musicians would be paid for their services, the MU uncovered countless examples of its members being asked to perform for no payment at events connected with the Games.
“It is difficult enough to earn a decent living as a professional musician these days, and, headline artists aside, it is not a highly paid profession. The MU is looking to challenge the idea that musicians should be happy to work for free, and we are delighted that the TUC has joined with us in this campaign.”
The TUC Congress is being held in Brighton until Wednesday (September 12).