The U.K. Musicians’ Union (MU) has secured the backing of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) for its campaign to change the aviation industry’s policy on the transportation of musical instruments.
The MU has been campaigning on the issue since 2006, when heightened airport security measures meant instruments were no longer allowed on planes as hand luggage.
Shortly after, the MU established an agreement with the government’s Department for Transport to relax the restriction. However, the MU claims airlines do not always comply with the guidelines, resulting in additional costs for touring musicians.
Now the TUC’s annual conference in Brighton, which gathers delegates from trade unions in all walks of life, has agreed a motion supporting the campaign.
“The Musicians’ Union is delighted that this motion, which is so important for our members, has received the backing of the TUC,” MU General Secretary John Smith told Billboard. “This will give us far more clout when lobbying the aviation bodies such as [airport company] BAA and [aviation trade body] IATA to get them to adhere to the agreed MU/Department for Transport guidelines.”
The MU expects to announce the next step in its campaign in the coming weeks.
“We will be agreeing a way forward with the TUC shortly but in the meantime the fact that this issue has been raised at such a high level is great news for all musicians,” said Smith.