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September 3, 2013 / Sian Moore

Final programme for “Working conditions and union representation in music work” conference

Working Conditions and Union Representation in Music Work

Wednesday 20th November


A workshop organized by the Work and Employment Research Unit at the University of Greenwich

Sessions in Hamilton House, 15 Park Vista, Greenwich, London SE10 9LZ


What can young people entering the music profession expect from their working lives? What kind of working conditions are they likely to encounter, and what can organisations such as unions do for them? This workshop draws together trade unionists and academic researchers to discuss these questions, focusing particularly on young musicians entering the labour market as freelancers. Topics discussed throughout the afternoon will focus primarily on the working arrangements and conditions faced by freelance musicians, and union responses to the problems faced by freelancers. It will also consider issues of ethnicity, and examine some international comparisons. It is free to attend, and includes a drinks reception. Professional musicians are particularly welcome. To register, please email Charles Umney at


Here is the programme for the workshop


2:00-2.15: Welcome


2.15-3.45: Session one: Working life in music

Charles Umney and Lefteris Kretsos (University of Greenwich): “Creative autonomy and working conditions among London’s jazz musicians”

Mark Banks (Open University): “Working Lives in Black British Jazz”


3.45-4:00: Break


4:00-5:45: Session two: Union representation for freelance musicians

Ian Greer (University of Greenwich): “Experience of the US Musicians’ Union”

Alex Mann (Musicians Union): “The Role of the Musicians Union”


5:45-6:00: Closing remarks


6:00: Drinks reception



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