- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Costumed characters in Times Square have started organizing after a spate of violent incidents caused lawmakers to call for a crackdown.

About 60 costume-wearing workers held a meeting organized by immigration advocacy group La Fuente to talk about forming a union, a local Fox affiliate reported.

Organizer Alex Gomez said the goal is to improve the characters’ image after a string of arrests.

The New York City Police Department arrested two Iron Men, a Spider-Man and an Elmo in Times Square on Saturday. The four characters were accused of blocking pedestrians and charged with disorderly conduct.

The arrests came just hours after police began handing out fliers to tourists in Times Square that inform them they’re not obligated to pay costumed characters.

A bill is in the works that would require the characters to undergo background checks and wear photo identification, the Fox affiliate reported.

Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said regardless of unionization, the city still needs to regulate the characters, the station reported.

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