The American Federation of Musicians are not letting up on Marvel and Disney for scoring their films overseas while getting tax breaks at home. This time the union was in Cleveland close to where filming for Captain America: The Winter Soldier was occurring. About 35 AFM members took to the city’s downtown streets on Thursday to protest the score for the star spangled sequel being outsourced to the UK while Marvel/Disney receive a nearly $10 million tax credit for filming in Ohio. Chanting “bring the music home,” union members handed out flyers slamming the profitable studio for heading “straight to Europe and hired foreign musicians under the table and on the cheap, robbing U.S. musicians of their jobs.”
“People we spoke to on the street in Cleveland were shocked by what the studio was doing, taking their tax dollars that are intended to keep jobs in the US and doing the exact opposite,” Linda Rapka of LA-based Local 47 told me. Rapka was in Cleveland with three other members from LA and two others from NYC Local 802. The AFM was joined in Cleveland also by members of the SEIU, the AFI-CIO and food services union UNITE HERE. The AFM, which has about 90,000 members in the US and Canada, are planning future protests against Marvel/Disney. This latest action this week comes just over month after the AFM staged protests in LA near the set of The Winter Soldier over the same issue. On the same day, the union were handing out their flyers outside Marvel’s Manhattan offices just before the premiere of Iron Man 3. In June 2012, AFM had protested outside Marvel’s Manhattan Beach offices over the outsourcing of music in regards to The Avengers. Members of the union also protested outside the production of IM3 in Wilmington, North Carolina last August. The state has a very generous tax credit program that has successfully lured a number of Hollywood movies and TV productions.