British Musicians’ Union Charges Artists are “Emotionally Blackmailed” into Unpaid Charity Gigs

August 4, 2011; Source: BBC | The British Musicians’ Union says that it will present a motion to the annual Trade Union Congress next month to address the fact that musicians are being browbeaten into participating as artists in charity concerts.

The motion states, “It is wrong that many performing artists are expected to work for nothing when they are engaged for charitable and fundraising events…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.”

The Union further asserts that the problem extends to unpaid interns. The motion asserts: “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.” – Ruth McCambridge