The Union Movement Hits Museums Nationwide

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s staff unionizes in a new push to bring organized labor to museums. Pictured: Aerial view of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art from drone. (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art)
Eager unionistas may be disappointed once they join up — and see the results.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE A bout 20 museum staffs have either unionized in the last year or are trying to form unions. Until now, museum unions have been few, far between, and mostly limited to guards and clerical workers. Now, after the upheavals of the last year and a half, the drive to unionize isn’t a blip or even a trend. It’s a movement. It’s bound to intensify. The staff of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art unionized in 1971 — it was the country’s first museum union. For close to 50 years, it was nearly alone.

Why are we here? I’ll write today on

(Photo HispanicSocietyofAmerica.jpg" by Asaavedra32 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.)


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