Mystic Seaport United has filed for election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Hartford. The election will allow employees, of which there are around 200, to decide if they want to be represented by the union.
“We have filed a petition for a union authorization election because we feel forming a union is the only option we have left for addressing our issues,” Mystic Seaport employee Linda Prior said. “We want to see the Seaport restored to what it once was and then improved to what it has the potential to be. We believe that as a partner with management we can achieve that goal. This is our way of making sure we have a seat at the table.”
The NLRB requires a union has the before the NLRB will schedule an election. According to a press release sent out by AFT Connecticut on Friday, July 6, Mystic Seaport United presented the NLRB with authorization cards, an individual form stating an employee wants union representation, in order to show that support.
“We are extremely excited to be filing for an election,” Mystic Seaport employee Mike Bartles said. “It has been inspiring to see workers from all across the Seaport coming together. We know we have a strong majority of support. In some ways, we have already formed our union and the election is just a formality.
Earlier this spring a number of to form the union called Mystic Seaport United. They hope to join the Connecticut chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which is the second largest AFL-CIO union in Connecticut.
According to the press release sent by AFT Connecticut, Mystic Seaport employees asked Mystic Seaport CEO Steve White to voluntarily recognize the union, which would have negated the need for an election. The press release stated White declined.
“Our hope is management will respect our decision and the will of the majority,” Mystic Seaport employee Rob Whalen said. “They could save a lot of time and money by voluntarily recognizing our union and moving forward in a collaborative way. It’s the best way for them to demonstrate their willingness to work together.”
The NLRB has not yet scheduled a date for the election.