Press release - The intimidation continues

Montreal, June 19, 2014 – Following the recent announcement of the results of its referendum on disaffiliation from the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the Guilde des musiciens et musiciennes du Québec (GMMQ) learned from AFM management on June 16th that charges have been filed by a member against GMMQ President Luc Fortin and Secretary-Treasurer Éric Lefebvre and that they are to be judged by the AFM’s International Executive Board (IEB).

The charges, which concern the decision to consult Guild members on disaffiliation from the AFM, the use of social media and the publication of rules of procedure for general meetings, was filed directly with AFM President Ray Hair by the said member on June 2nd, the very first day of the referendum vote, which extended through June 8th. On June 9th, the day the results of the electronic vote were found to be in favour of disaffiliation, the American President decided to refer the grievance to the IEB in order for it to render a judgment on the affair. It is worth noting that the IEB is headed by Mr. Hair himself. The letter to the Guild was sent on June 12th, the day after the results of the vote were made public.

The Québec Musicians’ Guild vehemently objects to this new attempt at intimidation by the AFM.

“According to the AFM’s own rules, the charges preferred by a member should have been adjudicated by us, since the Guild is able to deal with them directly. Instead, we are now being accused of these ridiculous charges and will have to be judged by a pseudo-tribunal that is far from impartial. Just like what is currently happening with the Vancouver local, whose officers have recently been prosecuted by the AFM, the American Federation is using a fallacious pretext for going after the officers of the GMMQ”, stressed Luc Fortin, guitarist and President of the GMMQ.

The priority for the Guild remains to follow up on the wishes recently expressed by its members. “This unacceptable decision by the AFM is yet another attempt at intimidation, despite the fact that a majority of our members have voted to have the Guild disaffiliate from the AFM. We are therefore going to contest it. Here is even further proof of how important it is for us to support the wishes of a majority of our members”, concluded Luc Fortin.

Since it is now in the process of contesting the afore-mentioned charges, the Guild does not intend to make any further comments on this affair.

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Click here to read the AFM communication on charges