Union members called for salary increases and pledged to hold the museum accountable to “its lip-service to social justice.”
The union says 60% of employees at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh make less than $15 an hour.
The museum and union have yet to agree on wages and healthcare.
The museum refused a Freedom of Information request, stating that it is a private entity and therefore not subject to the MPIA.
In a landslide victory, 101 workers voted “yes” while only six employees voted in opposition.
“A fine mist filled my eyes and I caught myself holding back the tears,” writes Dereck Stafford Mangus, an artist and a security guard at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
The workers voted in favor of a strike authorization by a 99% margin just days after filing an unfair labor practice complaint against the museum.
The union seeks a minimum wage of $20 by the end of 2024; the museum offered only $16.
“How can Dia, with its prestigious Board and reputation, justify paying us so much less than a livable wage?” one worker said.
As organizing efforts sweep across Starbucks stores nationwide, the company has repeatedly been accused of “union-busting.”
The union said that grass hedges were erected around the entrance, blocking the gala’s guests from seeing the protest outside.
We spoke with workers at the International Documentary Association about their successful fight for a union.