Over 125 employees at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) have launched a campaign to unionise with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the largest union of its kind in the United States. Around 50 members of the group presented their statement of intent to the museum on Friday citing fair compensation, improved working conditions and greater transparency as part of their motivation to form a union. The group would like the museum’s efforts to improve the experience for visitors – recently MOCA announced that admission to the museum will be free as of 11 January 2020 – to be extended towards its employees.
This announcement by MOCA’s employees is part of a greater shift in the American artworld that has seen artworkers across the country seeking to form unions to fight for better working conditions. Acknowledging this, the group aligned themselves with fellow employees at other museums in a post on Instagram, stating ‘We stand in solidarity with workers at the Marciano Art Foundation, the New Museum, the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, MoMA, The Met, Berkeley Art Museum, the LA Museum of Tolerance, the Frye Museum, and the many factions of workers all over the world whose labor has been undervalued.’
In response to the campaign, the museum issued the following statement: ‘While we respect the right of employees to decide whether or not they wish to be represented by a union, we do not believe that this union is in the best interest of our employees or the museum.’
26 November 2019