Adding to the number of workers moving toward union organization, professional employees at a number of museums around the country are are forming collective bargaining units and demanding recognition. While workers employed at many of these museums, like security guards and carpenters are already organized, this is a first for curators, librarians, educators, conservators and others on the payrolls. Among the museums where this is taking place are the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Union organizers place the increasing desire of white collar museum arts workers to organize has been the large and growing pay gap between these workers and museum executives.
The Washington DC bookstore group, Politics and Prose, which has 54 employees in three locations in the Capital, has voluntarily recognized Local 400 of the United Food and Commercial Workers as the bargaining agent for its employers, the union and owners announced in a joint statement.
“We look forward to working with the union,” said the company, “to solve problems and address needs.” Hailing “the growing movement of booksellers and baristas across the country who have unionized their workplaces,” the union said it “looked forward to negotiating our first contract and welcoming more bookstore workers in DC” into the union.