Press release on May 23, 2014

Québec musicians threatened with trusteeship

« A serious attack on our right of association »

 - Luc Fortin, President

Montreal, May 24, 2014. – Reacting to the decision by Québec musicians to choose whether or not they want to disaffiliate from the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the latter has sent the Québec Musicians’ Guild (GMMQ) a formal notice (click to read) that it questions our right of free association and is threatening to apply for trusteeship of the GMMQ. As you know, a referendum will be held among all of Québec’s professional musicians by regular post and email from June 2 to June 8 this year.

“I can’t find a word strong enough to denounce this gross attempt to muzzle Québec’s musicians by denying them the right to freely choose their union affiliation, a right recognized by both the Canadian and Québec Charters of Rights and Freedoms”, declared Luc Fortin, guitarist and President of the GMMQ.

The President and administrative staff of the GMMQ are currently criss-crossing Québec to exchange views with Guild members on the future of the organization. “For three years now we have tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to convince the AFM to adapt its services to Québec’s special circumstances, which are different from the rest of North America. Québec musicians are really getting nothing for their money in sending $325,000 every year to New York. Following the example of the Union des Artistes, it is now time to decide things for ourselves, to assume full powers of negotiation for our working conditions and to freely promote the hiring of Québec musicians for music work in film, television, video games and many other areas. This recent attempt at intimidation by the powers-that-be in the U.S. is so insulting it is bound to backfire on them. It will only convince those who are still undecided to vote for disaffiliation from this authoritative and repressive union in which the majority of our members receive no recognition at all”, concluded Mr. Fortin.