The Washington Ballet's dancers voted to unionize and to be represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists in a secret ballot carried out on February 14, AGMA announced yesterday.
According to the union, the vote was 18 to 2.
The National Labor Relations Board ordered the election at a hearing on January 19. At the time, Washington Ballet argued that its dancers were "seasonal workers" who could not unionize, and also said that apprentice dancers and rehearsal assistants should be excluded from any vote because they did not have a "community of interest" with the rest of the company. The NLRB rejected those arguments.
After the vote, a spokesperson for the company said, "We have consistently and unwaveringly supported our dancers' right to unionize. We believe that the secret ballot election process is a fair one, and we now look forward to a productive and respectful negotiation process."
AGMA represents singers and dancers around the country, including members of such major companies as the Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and New York City Ballet.