NEW YORK (AP) — About a dozen actors who perform in shows at the American Girl Place toy and children’s clothing store in New York have voted to unionize, the company said Saturday.

The performers voted 7-5 to join Actors’ Equity Association, American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks said. One eligible actor did not cast a vote and another vote was subject to a challenge, Parks said.

Those who voted are adult actors and assistant stage managers who put on musicals for children at the small theater inside the Fifth Avenue store, which sells American Girl dolls, clothing and books.

The performers had gone on strike for two days in August, saying the company had withdrawn proposed salary increases after they expressed interest in joining the union.

American Girl filed a National Labor Relations Board complaint accusing the union of unfair labor practices. The company said the union tainted the election by offering membership to employees who would not ordinarily qualify.

Union spokeswoman Maria Somma said the union had done nothing wrong, was pleased with the election result and intended to start contract negotiations with American Girl.

American Girl, created in 1986, is a subsidiary of Mattel Inc. It aims its merchandise at girls ages 9 to 12. It has grown from a tiny company based in Middleton, Wis., to a behemoth, with more than 12 million dolls sold and more than 111 million books published.

The Actors’ Equity Association represents 45,000 stage actors and managers across the country.


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