‘Deck’ is an Austrian DJ union founded by Steve Hope.
The COVID pandemic has created a difficult situation for many DJs who already faced pressures such as unsociable hours, a changing work space and irregular fees. Many also struggle with the isolated feeling of working on their own between gigs.
To help support DJs, Austrian artists have come together to start a trade union in their country for the profession.
Viennese artist Steve Hope has joined forces with other like-minded people from the region such as Gerald VDH and Electric Indigo. The group has approached the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB) to become an official DJ union under the name Deck.
Thomas Dürrer is the senior secretary of the Music section at Younion, which is an organisation of the ÖGB. He showed his understanding of why Deck is necessary by giving the following statement: “In reality, this is an unrecognized profession without binding norms that guarantee decent pay or working time. DJs are completely hanging in the air.”
Deck plans to become the central information and contact point for DJs in Austria. People can already register to become a member. For twelve euros a month the union offers things like legal protection. There are also plans for a union seal of approval that designates venues as trusted partners, so DJs get the knowledge they will be treated fairly if booked to play there.
Anyone in Austria can join the union whether they are a full-time DJ or someone who does is as a hobby in their bedroom.