Workers at at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures have announced their intention to form union Academy Museum Workers United, as part of Council 36 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. AMWU now seeks recognition from the Museum as the exclusive representative for over 200 union-eligible employees working at both front and back of house.
The Academy Museum just opened its physical location in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles in September last year, after decades of planning. Its staffers formed their union to address working conditions, wages and benefits, as well as to afford employees a hand in shaping the museum’s future.
AMWU plans on filing for a union election through the National Labor Relations Board soon, should the Museum fail to grant it voluntary recognition. After receiving recognition, through an election or voluntarily from the Museum, AMWU members will begin negotiating a contract with their employer.
“We are thrilled to be forming our union, Academy Museum Workers United, because it is time those who work in preserving and celebrating art, in this case the art of cinema, have a voice on the job,” said Retail Sales Associate, Sarah Stearn. “All workers deserve respect and a say in our working conditions and the direction of our work. For this museum to be successful, its workers must be safe and respected.”
“We believe in the Academy Museum’s mission to be radically inclusive, and we believe in our mission as staff to be of service and to be agents of positive change in our community,” said Assistant Curator, J. Raúl Guzmán. “Through our union, we believe we can set industry standards for cultural institutions around the world – standards that improve job security, fair and livable wages, and safety for all workers.”
“The Academy Museum has received and appreciates the statement of intent for Academy Museum Workers Union (AMWU) with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 36 to unionize,” added a spokesperson for the Academy Museum. “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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