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Musicians Union Blasts Amazon Over ‘Transparent’

Union musicians are blasting Amazon and its hit series “Transparent” for using non-union musicians on the show.

About a dozen members of the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 47 chapter leafleted outside a desert location shoot in Pearblossom, Calif., on Tuesday morning, asking “Where’s the pride for musicians?”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The union noted that acting talent, writers, directors and crew receive union wages, benefits and protections and that only musicians are shut out of a labor contract.

“Musicians are the only workers being treated differently, and we don’t think that’s right,” said AFM Local 47 president John Acosta. “We aren’t asking for huge wage increases, or extravagant bonuses. All we want is to be offered a fair contract in line with the industry standard.”

The organizing campaign had received endorsements from the California Labor Federation, Pride at Work, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and Jewish Labor Committee Western Region.

“It is unfortunate that a show that portrays the transgender community in such a welcoming and positive light would simultaneously treat a portion of its professional staff so unfairly,” said Jerame Davis, Pride at Work executive director, in a letter sent to the production company Picrow.

“Disparate treatment of employees based on job function is never a good labor practice and only serves to foment distrust and discontent among the staff,” Davis said. “Few LGBTQ people would be pleased to learn that it is the show’s practice to treat one group of employees differently than the others – that is, after all, exactly the type of workplace behavior we’ve been combatting for decades.”

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