Victory for Artists of Opera Colorado in NLRB Decision

Published October 2, 2023   |  By Musical Artists  |  Post in All Areas

AGMA is thrilled to announce that the recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding Opera Colorado, released on the evening of September 29, represents a clear and significant victory for the artists who are seeking to unionize with AGMA. An election has been ordered in the coming weeks, and eligible artists will receive their ballots by mail on October 16.

After not voluntarily recognizing the Artists' wishes to unionize with AGMA, Opera Colorado tried to deny the Artists a union election by challenging almost every part of our petition, including claiming that the artists were either independent contractors, "seasonal/casual employees, " or both, and therefore not employees under the National Labor Relations Act. This challenge forced a three-day hearing at the NLRB and extensive legal briefing.

In the end, we won overwhelmingly on every contested issue.

This victory holds immense significance for AGMA, not only at Opera Colorado but also for our nationwide organizing endeavors. Specifically at Opera Colorado, this decision secured the artists' right to a union election. On a broader scale, it represents a recent, unequivocal NLRB ruling affirming the appropriateness of our traditional bargaining unit for organizing in opera. Furthermore, it serves as a clear affirmation that our artists are employees under the Act, entitling them to union representation, irrespective of any employer attempts to classify them differently to undermine their rights.

There's still a tremendous amount of work to be done. Now, we have an election to win. But this NLRB decision is worthy of celebration on its own. Congratulations to our future AGMA members, the Artists of Opera Colorado!