The PMA Union authorized a one-day strike on September 16, days after it filed an Unfair Labor Practices complaint against the institution.
The announcement comes less than two months after a group of museum employees declared their intention to unionize.
The union’s third rally since April brought together national and local labor leaders to demand that management meets at the bargaining table in good faith.
“This contract is a structural breakthrough for museum workers who have been underpaid as a group for years,” said staffer Martina Tanga.
Staff cited wage discrepancies, allegedly inadequate responses to COVID-19 outbreaks, and being asked to do work outside their job description.
Workers told Hyperallergic that they were tired of meager pay and a lack of job security.
Some workers at the museum say they’ve experienced “aggressive union-busting tactics” since organizing.
“We want livable wages and to be able to live well,” said Rob Kempton, a security guard. “I think our efforts are warranted, and we aren’t going to go down without a fight.”
A colleague once told me “You live better when you work in a union, especially in an art museum because you work for elitists.”
The union would include art handlers, curators, development staff, educators, visitor experience and retail employees, and other administrative staff.
“Get up, get down! Boston is a union town,” strikers and local UAW supporters alike chanted in unison during a demonstration this morning, November 17.
The artists released the risograph-printed booklet series Organizing Power to assist in the arduous process of assembling a bargaining unit and negotiating.