Understanding Third-Partying in Union Busting

Published April 17, 2024   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

Understanding “Third-Partying” in Union Busting

What is third-partying? The foundation of any company's union-busting strategy lies in third-partying unions. It’s happening right now at Miami City Ballet and has been employed numerous times in the past when other AGMA Artists sought to organize. Third-partying is the tactic of presenting a union as an external and negative force, separate from the Artists themselves. This illusion is strategically crafted to make it seem like the union is an organization “coming in” from the outside to disrupt things. 

Examples of Some Third-Partying Language Companies Love to Use

“The Union will come in and create division!”

“The Union is a business that just wants your money!”

“The Union will make it impossible for us [workers and employers] to speak to each other directly!”

None of these statements are accurate.

The Reality: Unions Emerge from Workers

Unions don't “come in” from the outside; they emerge from within the workforce itself. Currently, the majority of Dancers at Miami City Ballet are in favor of forming a union. It's crucial to dispel the misconception that unions are external entities. Unions are the workers.  The organizing artists of Miami City Ballet are AGMA.

Why Third-Partying is Vital in Union-Busting Strategies

Third-partying is THE primary goal of companies when trying to bust a union. But why? Well, by presenting the union as an external force, companies aim to undermine its legitimacy and disconnect it from the employees’ interests. Third-partying creates division and sets the stage for various other anti-union messaging tactics. No union-busting campaign is able to get off the ground without third-partying the union. Miami City Ballet management is well aware that the dancers ARE the union, yet they remain relentless in their efforts to persuade them otherwise.

Exposing Third-Partying

It's crucial to empower Artists with the knowledge that AGMA is not an external force but a product of collective action. Exposing third-partying tactics helps workers recognize attempts to divide and weaken their solidarity. By standing united and recognizing their collective power, workers can counter attempts to divide and weaken their resolve. Remember, the strength of the union lies in the unity and solidarity of its members.

AGMA Artists, let management know: It’s not THE union — it’s OUR UNION! WE are AGMA.