Tag Archives: AFM

Listen for the Union Label

Here is a quick quiz.

The following is the Mission of an organization.

Identify the organization:

• “We can live and work in dignity;
• Our work will be fulfilling and compensated fairly;
• We will have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect us;
• We will have the opportunity to develop our talents and skills;
• Our collective voice and power will be realized in a democratic and progressive union;
• We can oppose the forces of exploitation through our union solidarity.”

Obviously that last bullet point gives away that it is a trade union.

According to an article in The Observer, “In a three-week span, between July 26 and August 16, art workers at the Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum, and New York’s Hispanic Society Museum and Library all voted to unionize with UAW Local 2110. Additionally, on July 30, Guggenheim employees filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. Local 2110 already boasts dozens of unions in cultural institutions across the city, including The New Museum and the Tenement Museum, as well as a longstanding union at the Museum of Modern Art.”

Perhaps it is just the Detroit in me, but when I think “UAW” I think “auto workers.”

In fact, the full name of the organization is “United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.”

Yet autos aside, the UAW claims it has “members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations.”

And evidently art museums. While many people would think that sport utility vehicles are important and sculptures are optional (think of school districts where budget cuts occur and the art classes get the boot while the football program has but minor modifications), there are people who work in museums who have found that in order to sustain a modicum of normalcy in their day-to-day lives it is necessary to band together in a trade union.

But the answer to the quiz isn’t the UAW.

Continue reading Listen for the Union Label