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Union for Medieval Times employees will no longer represent them: Report

The American Guild of Variety Artists (AVGA) will no longer represent workers at two Medieval Times locations that voted to unionize in 2022, The Huffington Post first reported Wednesday.

The union said the locations no longer had the requisite support to reach a collective bargaining agreement with Medieval Times, resulting in the group effectively throwing in the towel on unionization efforts.

The two locations’ 2022 union votes garnered viral fanfare and joke-laden support from union supporters online, but attempts to organize a contract with Medieval Times made little progress.

The company unsuccessfully sued the union in late 2022, alleging workers stole its trademark by labeling themselves “Medieval Times Performers United.”

Workers at the California location of the entertainment chain went on strike in February 2023 over lack of pay and fair working conditions, but they found no success in contract negotiations. The company instead flew in “scab” replacement actors, with the strike ending after nine months in November.

Erin Zapcic, an actor at the California location, told The Huffington Post that the company showed no intention of working in good faith in union negotiations.

“Their intention was not just to beat us; it was to destroy us,” Zapcic said. “I’m certain we cost this company millions of dollars [in legal costs] and they were willing to continue to spend that money to get rid of us.”

The union failure comes as unions expand to multiple major national companies, including successful elections at Starbucks locations and Amazon warehouses nationwide. Organizations at those companies now face similar battles to gain labor agreements with their employers.

The Hill has reached out to the AGVA and Medieval Times for comment.

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