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Academy Museum Workers Launch Campaign to Unionize

Museum’s management says it will move forward with a unionization vote through the National Labor Relations Board

A group of workers at the recently opened Academy Museum announced their intention to unionize on Thursday, asking the museum’s management for voluntary recognition or an employee vote via the National Labor Relations Board.

The group, called Academy Museum Workers United, said in a statement posted on its website that “a majority of eligible staff across departments have expressed their desire to form our union,” which would be affiliated with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 36. Livable wages, increased transparency, job security and advancement opportunities are among the goals the AMWU seeks to achieve through unionization.

“Working through the pandemic, we have brought to life the magnificent history of motion pictures and made it accessible to the vibrant communities of Los Angeles. We came together during the summer of 2021, months before the museum opened, to find ways to improve our safety and working conditions. For this museum to be successful, its workers must be safe and respected,” the AMWU’s statement read.

“It is because we believe in this institution that we are forming our union. We believe in its mission to be radically inclusive, and we believe in our mission to service and be an agent of positive change in our community,” it continued.

In a statement from a spokesperson, the Academy Museum said it has received the statement of intent from AMWU and has recommended that a unionization vote be held.

“The Academy Museum has received and appreciates the statement of intent for Academy Museum Workers Union with AFSCME Council 36 to unionize,” the statement read. “We recognize this is a very important choice and believe it is in the best interest of staff to be fully informed when making a decision. As such, we have recommended to the union that the National Labor Relations Board commence a secret ballot vote as a next step. We look forward to proceeding with conversations with this group.”

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