Miami City Ballet Management Held a Captive Audience Meeting

Published April 12, 2024   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Miami City Ballet Management Held a Captive Audience Meeting on April 9

…Even though they will tell you they didn't. And it may not be their last. Let’s talk about what a Captive Audience Meeting is…and why it is a significant form of union-busting.

What is a Captive Audience Meeting?

Ever heard of a "Captive Audience Meeting"? Let's break it down. It's a meeting where employees (in this case, the dancers of Miami City Ballet) are required to attend and listen to anti-union messages from their employer (Miami City Ballet). For example, the meeting on April 9 was a scheduled part of the MCB dancers’ day. Only after everyone was in attendance were they told that it was not mandatory, making it effectively a captive meeting, as anyone choosing to walk out would identify themselves as supportive of the union. To avoid the potential repercussions of being identified as pro-union, the dancers stayed and listened to an hour of standard anti-union rhetoric. Every company opposed to unions uses the same language. It’s nothing new. 

Currently, Captive Audience Meetings are Banned in Six U.S. States (Not Florida)

Captive Audience Meetings instill fear, insecurity, and disunity in workers and perpetuate inequality and injustice in the workplace, which is why the government agency tasked with federal labor law is actively taking steps to ban them.

Rights at Stake

Captive Audience Meetings give employers an unfair opportunity to discourage Artists from establishing their collective voice through union organizing. If management makes the meeting mandatory, this suggests to employees that the employer may discipline or even terminate employees who refuse to attend, leave early, or ask questions. Under current Labor Board law, employers may hold these meetings at their discretion, scheduling as many as they wish throughout the workday, except within 24 hours of a scheduled election. Typically, management controls the narrative, leaving little room for employees to explore the actual benefits of collective bargaining, for fear of individual retribution. 

How We Can Combat Captive Audience Meetings

It's time to speak up against union-busting tactics like Captive Audience Meetings. Firstly, let's educate ourselves and our peers about workers' rights and the repetitive tactics used to undermine them. Secondly, we can advocate for fair labor practices in our workplace and support legislation that protects workers' rights to organize. Lastly, let's stand in solidarity with fellow Artists to resist intimidation and ensure our collective voice is heard. Together, we can dispel the influence of Captive Audience Meetings and strive for a more equitable workplace!

Support the Organizing Dancers of Miami City Ballet

The majority of the Dancers at Miami City Ballet are in favor of forming a union. Let these dancers know that even the most aggressive, coordinated union-busting campaign will not weaken their resolve. They will prevail and win their union, with a whole union membership of over 6,500 Artists rooting for them and supporting them every step of the way.