January 31, 2014

To the Members of La Guilde des Musiciens et Musiciennes du Québec, Local 406, AFM:

The leadership of the Guild will be conducting a referendum to disaffiliate from the AFM.

What’s important to us? Continued access to the P2 permits to work in the United States?  Having the symphony strike fund at our back when we’re negotiating a new contract with management?  Our solid pension with the Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada?

If we can answer “yes” to even one of these questions, then, for the sake of our livelihoods and our families’ security, we must say “no” to the Guild leadership’s short-sighted plan to take Local 406 out of the AFM.


Because if the Guild goes, those benefits and more could no longer be available.

As members of Local 406 of the AFM, we have the best of both worlds.  Local 406 negotiates with us and for us for our work in Québec, while the AFM secures our work and our benefits in the rest of Canada and the US.  If the Guild leadership’s plan succeeds, one of those worlds – the larger one – disappears.

Labour is under attack globally.  Negative forces are at work that want to divide us so that they can exploit us.

Music is the one, single unifying language of the world, and we are the standard-bearers of that language.  We must work to stay together – not to separate – so that as one strong union, each one of us – and all of us together – can retain our strength and secure the benefits that we, who are so vital to an enlightened society, deserve.

This is a very complicated problem. Please go to (for a French version, visit to learn what’s in our best interests. Consider with great care – for everyone’s sake – what is at stake. Please feel free to contact me by email with your thoughts on this complex issue.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Alan Willaert
Vice President from Canada, AFM