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    Posted January 6, 2007

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Equity, IATSE Local 632 Joust with Medieval Times Over Union Election

On September 29, Actors' Equity and Local 632 IATSE filed objections to the secret ballot election that was conducted on September 22 at Medieval Times, the popular arena show, which had resulted in a loss for the two Unions (18-N, 16-Y). An National Labor Relations Board hearing was held in November and resulted in a decision that calls for a new election.

Since last summer, Equity and the IA Local have been conducting a joint organizing campaign, seeking to represent all performers at the New Jersey location. Medieval Times operates other, similar venues in the US and Canada. This is the first time that Equity and any IA local have engaged in joint organizing.

AEA and Local 632 alleged that at a meeting held during the critical period leading up to the election, the Employer advised employees that "should the Union win the election, the Employer would drag out negotiations for at least a year." The Unions presented testimony to support this allegation. Based on that testimony, the NLRB Hearing Officer found evidence that, coupled with the closeness of the vote, merited a new election.

In the Hearing Officer's opinion, Peter List (a consultant hired to prevent the unions from organizing the employees), "created the impression that it would be futile for employees to select a Union to bargain on their behalf as the Employer would prolong negotiations indefinitely and not seriously bargain with the Union."

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