Workers at the Milwaukee Art Museum recently went public with their campaign to organize a labor union. According to a statement posted on the union’s website on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Art Museum has refused to voluntarily recognize the union. The whole statement reads “The museum announced to staff yesterday that they do not intend to recognize our union voluntarily, canceling a meeting planned between the union and the museum. We look forward to an election.”
Workers list three main goals that they are fighting for and that they hope a union can help achieve. First is social justice. Second, Financial fairness and an end to precarious employment. Third, job security during an unprecedented crisis.
The union hoped to go through a process of voluntary recognition with management rather than a drawn-out election process. A union spokesperson said they wanted an impartial clergy member to facilitate a review of signed membership cards from the union compared to an employee list from management and then announce whether a majority was achieved.
Instead, workers will have to go through a formal election process with the National Labor Relations Board.
Workers are organizing with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The security guard staff at the museum has been unionized with the IAM for decades, and this campaign seeks to bring in the rest of the staff into the union.