MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) — Workers at the Mystic Seaport maritime history attraction have rejected a bid to be represented by a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.
Michael Cass, National Labor Relations Board examiner who supervised the balloting, said Friday's vote was 145-90.
Workers who supported the union have said they wanted more of a say in how the nonprofit tourist attraction is run.
In the recent recession, Mystic Seaport cut its budget by $3 million, partly through a 10 percent staff cut in two rounds of layoffs in 2008 and 2009. The Seaport also closed for six weeks in the winter to save money.
Cass said 235 of 270 eligible workers voted. He said there were 22 challenges, which were not sufficient to affect the results.
Union spokesman Eric Bailey said the union is disappointed and plans to file a new labor complaint against Mystic Seaport early next week and seek a new vote.
"We believe there was illegal activity on the part of management that warrants an investigation by the NLRB and a call for a revote," he said.
Mystic Seaport President Steve White said in a statement the organization is "very pleased" by the outcome, which he said indicated employees "want to continue to have a direct, individual relationship with management."
"This has been a very divisive process for the entire staff and the next step is to immediately begin the healing process and address the issues and concerns the organizing process brought forward," White said.
Officials at Mystic Seaport had said they worried that union contract negotiations would force them to spend money on lawyers and hurt the productivity of workers who participate in contract talks.
AFT-Connecticut filed an earlier complaint with the NLRB, accusing Mystic Seaport of banning solicitation by union supporters and doing so in a way that discriminates against union backers. The NLRB dismissed the charges, but with the condition that it will close the case in six months only if Mystic Seaport does not again impose the policies.
Visitors to Mystic Seaport, which was founded in 1929, may tour exhibits, a recreated 19th century coastal village and a shipyard where craftsmen restore schooners and other boats. State tourism officials say Mystic is the most-recognized area in Connecticut.
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