February 25, 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.

You are receiving this communication in order to bring you more information concerning the ramifications of seceding from the AFM.

Music is a global industry, and becomes more so every day.  Musicians must look beyond their city and province to earn a living in our chosen profession.  At a time when the ability to solicit work throughout Canada and the United States is of high priority to the careers of full-time musicians, the Guild seeks to close the door and make Quebec an island.

The Canadian Labour Congress has been engaged in defending against the anti-labour forces with a marketing campaign called “Together… Fairness Works”.  The strategy is to strengthen the ties of members to their union, to form a bond of solidarity that cannot be fractured by union-busting tactics.  The CFM is fully engaged in this campaign, and as part of our participation, you are receiving the enclosed button which shows our pride in our union.

The Local 406 Charter was issued by the AFM as per the Bylaws.  Those same Bylaws also govern what will happen should the Guild achieve sufficient support to disaffiliate.  The Charter, the Local and all the assets belong to the AFM.  The new entity would begin with nothing, and would be unable to service any remaining musicians.

This, plus the loss of all the benefits and services that emanate from the AFM, would be a disaster for the musicians of Québec. We must say “no” to the Guild leadership’s short-sighted plan to take Local 406 out of the AFM.

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 United States.  If the Guild leadership’s plan succeeds, one of those worlds – the larger one – will disappear.

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