LSM Newswire

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"United Breaks Guitar" spotlights issue of importance to all Musicians

United Breaks Guitar

spotlights issue of importance to all Musicians.


AFM Canada, countrys largest musicians union throws support behind internet sensation David Carroll.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Toronto, ON July 9, 2009 AFM Canada, the Canadian representatives of the American Federation of Musicians, applauds the resounding success of David Carrolls retaliatory anthem United Breaks Guitar in turning the spotlight on a topic of importance to all touring musicians. Following its posting to YouTube earlier this week the light-hearted song has become one of the sites most popular videos, and in turn has refocused attention on the unions ongoing issue of instruments as carry on luggage.


With this one song David has remarkably been able to accomplish something that lobbyists have been trying to resolve for 10-years, explains Bill Skolnik, the AFM Vice President from Canada. It is not unlike the classic David and Goliath story with David Carroll drawing on his craft to create a metaphoric slingshot that hits right at the heart of the matter. This achievement illustrates the unique ability art has to empower the public, and as such we are hopeful that the attention this internet sensation has garnered will spiral into a resolution to our continuing negotiations with the airline industry at large.


As a direct result of airport security clampdowns that followed the 2001 terrorist attacks, many musicians traveling on commercial airlines encounter extreme difficulty traveling with their instruments. While the union has been able to secure a commitment from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to help alleviate some of the carry-on luggage restrictions for professional musicians, many problems with individual airlines remain. AFM Canada members are provided with a copy of the TSA letter which outlines their instrument policy but the compliance to those terms are subject to the discretion of individual airlines and their security personnel. In many cases, musicians are left with no options but to check their valuable instruments even though the instruments may meet the carry on luggage criteria.


While AFM Canada appreciates the necessity of the enhanced airline security measures, the union believes strongly that musicians have the right to freely and conveniently travel in order to entertain diverse audiences and earn a living, and are actively pursuing negotiations with the Air Transport Association, the airline trade association to resolve the ongoing problems.

AFM Canada offers its full support to David Caroll and has invited this long-standing AFM member to perform his United Airlines trilogy of songs at the 2010 AFM Convention.


About AFM Canada

AFM Canada is a complementary yet independent office of the American Federation of Musicians, United States and Canada and is uniquely positioned to address Canadian issues for its Canadian membership. It is the leading professional organization of its kind available to Canadian musicians and represents over 17,000 professional musicians in Canada. In June 2009, AFM Canada began a year-long 30th Anniversary celebration. For more information please visit our website, www.afm.org.

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