Performer’s petition contains support from majority of employees at Buena Park location; National Labor Relations Board will now review

Los Angeles, CA (November 27, 2023) – Michelle Dean, a performer at dinner theater concept Medieval Times’ Buena Park location, today filed a petition at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) requesting a vote to remove American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) union officials from power at her workplace. Her petition, which she filed with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, contains the signatures of a majority of her fellow performers at the “castle.”

The NLRB is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal labor law, which includes administering elections to install (or “certify”) and remove (or “decertify”) unions. Under NLRB rules, a union decertification petition must contain the signatures of 30 percent or more of the employees at a workplace to trigger a decertification election. If a majority of employees vote against the union, it is removed from the workplace.

Because California lacks Right to Work protections for its private sector workers, AGVA union bosses have the power to enter into contracts with Medieval Times management that force Dean and her coworkers to pay union dues or fees just to keep their jobs. In contrast, in Right to Work states like neighboring Nevada and Arizona, union membership and all union financial support are strictly voluntary.

However, in both non-Right to Work states and Right to Work states, union bosses have the power over the work conditions of every employee in a unionized workplace, including those who don’t support or voted against the union. A successful decertification vote strips union officials of that monopoly bargaining power.

AGVA Officials Abruptly End Strike Order Just Ahead of Decertification Effort

Just last week, AGVA union officials unconditionally called off a long-running strike order at the Buena Park Medieval Times, meaning a number of employees will return to work after being ordered off the job for roughly nine months. Protracted and divisive strike orders are often a factor workers cite as reasons to send union officials packing.

The performers at the Buena Park Medieval Times are the second group of Medieval Times workers that Foundation staff attorneys are aiding in removing the AGVA union. Lyndhurst, NJ, Medieval Times employee Artemesia Morley submitted a decertification petition earlier this year that also contained signatures from a majority of her coworkers, but NLRB Region 22 in Newark, NJ, blocked the petition based on unproven charges of misconduct AGVA made against Medieval Times management. Foundation attorneys are now defending Morley’s petition before the NLRB in Washington, DC; Morley’s Request for Review notes that AGVA union officials were “secretive, self-interested, and divisive,” and “regularly advocated that the [Medieval Times] employees go on strike, something that had no support among the unit employees.”

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the AGVA union’s reign over Medieval Times performers resembles a ruthless tyrant more interested in promoting union bosses’ power than what is best for rank-and-file employees,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “If AGVA union bosses really do have the support they claim they do among Medieval Times employees, they should simply let them exercise their right to vote as opposed to engaging in legal maneuvers to stop it from happening.”

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in about 200 cases nationwide per year.

Posted on Nov 27, 2023 in News Releases