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    Posted December 15, 2006

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ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION FILES NEW ULP AGAINST AMERICAN GIRL CLAIMING COMPANY FUNNELED UNLAWFUL PAYMENTS TO ACTORS LEADING UP TO ELECTION

NEW YORK, N.Y., Dec. 13, 2006 --Actors' Equity Association (Equity) has filed a new Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against American Girl Place- New York (AGP) in which the Union asserts the company funneled unlawful payments to actors leading up to the election held in November.

During a six week period leading up the vote that would determine whether or not Equity would represent the adult actors and assistant stage managers, AGP paid some actors an additional $200 per week as "Special Pay Consideration." The additional monies stopped the week prior to the election. Traditionally, "Special Pay Consideration" is given to principals during slow times at American Girl Place - New York. In this situation, these monies were paid to understudies (or "covers") who, according to AGP past practice and policy, do not receive such payments. These recipients were part of the Excelsior List, or list of employees, agreed-to by both parties, who would be eligible to vote in an election.

The election, held November 17 and November 18, results were 7 to 5 in favor of representation by Actors' Equity Association. The company is currently challenging the election results.

Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board found merit in the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) filed in July, 2006 by Equity which asserted that AGP interfered with, restrained and coerced employees in the exercise of their right to seek Union representation. The charge was based on the company's retraction of a proposed pay increase due to the Actors' support of the Union's efforts and led to the two day strike by some of the American Girl Place actors in August.

Actors' Equity Association founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 Actors and Stage Managers in the United Stages. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.

Contact:
Maria Somma, Spokesperson, Actors' Equity Association 212-869-8530, ext 425 or 917-560-3488
David Lotz, National Director of Communications, Actors' Equity Association 212-869-8530, ext. 410




 
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