The Blue Man Group is union busting again
Teachers and staff at the Blue School, a progressive independent school in Manhattan that costs over $50,000 a year to attend and teaches pre-primary school through middle school, voted to form a union with UAW Local 2110.
Their union election results were certified with the National Labor Relations Board on April 7, but the Blue School is refusing to recognize the union in defiance of the NLRB order to bargain with the union.
The Blue School was founded by the Blue Man Group and three member group has a history of using these anti-union tactics of refusing to bargaing with the union.
In the mid-2000s, the stage crew of the Blue Man Group’s Las Vegas show voted to unionize. The Blue Man Group first tried to deny the union win over the scope of the bargainjng unit, then appealed every decision of being ordered to bargaing with the union.
This was after Blue Man Group founder Matt Goldman pledged to honor the union election results before the vote. The Blue Man Group delayed inevitably being forced to bargain with the union by a federal district court for two to three years, hiring a union avoidance law firm to do so.
A 2007 Las Vegas Sun article noted,
The company filed a challenge, sending the case before the full NLRB in Washington. In September 2006 the Washington board rejected Blue Man's arguments and ordered bargaining to begin.
Four days later Blue Man sued to have the ruling overturned.
The next month the NLRB filed a petition for enforcement of its order with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. A year later, both sides are still waiting on a decision.
The Blue Man Group is currently repeating these same tactics, retaining the union avoidance law firm Littler Mendelson, and announcing they will refuse to bargain with the Blue School Union even if ordered to do so by the NLRB.
UAW Local 2110 President Maida Rosenstein told Labor Press in an interview in Sept. 2021,
Currently, we are organizing at the Blue School, an independent school founded by Blue Man Group that purports to support progressive education. They have hired Littler Mendelsohn, an aggressively anti-union law firm, to use every legal maneuver possible to delay the certification of the union, while consistently mischaracterizing the union as formed by a handful of disgruntled employees. Recently, they scoured union social media platforms to attempt to identify union supporters and have threatened to filed challenges to their ballots in the union election.