After two days of actions at NAMM Show , we have stopped hundreds of NAMM attendees in their tracks.
How? We have a set up a staging area outside Hall B. We have stated the truth about Cort Guitars and its US business partners such as Fender.
On Thursday, we opened with a press conference at 2. LA and Orange County labor unions, organizations, and members of UNITE HERE Local 11 along with members of the AFL-CIO United Steel Workers Local 675 and the Carwash Workers Campaign came to support and to speak. Phoenix Benjamin, a musician invited to the NAMM show for his custom guitar, also spoke from a musician’s point of view. “We can’t just sit back and watch these things happen.”
In two days, we have received hundreds of petition signatures. Many have told us they will take the 1-page factsheet we have gathered and go to the Cort booth under Westheimer, the Fender booth and the Ibanez booth, and express their sense of injustice at the way the Cort workers have been treated.
One NAMM attendee asserted,
This is not just a problem for Cort. This is a problem for the industry. This is not what NAMM is about! We have to show that we support ethical workplaces, that we do not condone this type of treatment of workers.”
As vice president of a music company, he had spoken to NAMM’s director himself.
Some NAMM exhibitors, like ESP Guitar’s president, assure us: We NEVER contracted with Cort.
Others, like Avalon Guitar’s director, Steve McIlwrath, updated us: We STOPPED our contract with Cort.
Both had the same reason. They didn’t think Cort Guitars did business honestly. They didn’t trust their CEO or their management.
ESP mentioned John Park, the person in charge of OEM, and Avalon the CEO himself, as people that couldn’t be trusted, that had not done business honestly. Avalon’s director has gone on the record on behalf of the campaign to say that CEO Yung Ho Park had tried to cheat him and cut corners in the way he did his business.
We have asked for musicians to support us at NAMM. And they have come.
Yesterday, Phoenix Benjamin, a musician invited to NAMM, performed for Cort Action on his 9-string guitar.
Artists and musician Steve Noonan, also invited to perform at NAMM, stopped by and contributed his songs to the Cort guitar rally. A young musician with Two Joints Later jumped up the volume and sang his heart out.
Tomorrow, the delegation has a meeting scheduled with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Today at 2 pm in front of NAMM, we will make a lot of noise and music. Please join us. Hall B!