Employees at the Brooklyn Museum have voted to unionize with the support of ninety-six percent of the bargaining unit.
The staffers plan to affiliate with the Technical, Office, and Professional Union, Local 2110, part of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union. The union will include 110 employees who work in conservation, curation, event organizing, and other front-line roles. The Brooklyn Museums’ security, operations, and administrative staff are already represented by another union, the District Council 37 Local 1502.
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven unionization efforts at museum’s across the country. Employees who faced lay-offs last year have turned to unions to protect their jobs. Many employees also see unionization as the best way to challenge low pay at museums, particularly for front-line roles.
The Brooklyn Museum intends to recognize the new union. “Above all, we are committed to supporting our staff and have respected their right to organize. We remain committed to working with the union moving forward,” a museum representative told Artnet News.
The union and the Brooklyn Museum will soon begin contract negotiations.