Via The New York Times, February 21, 2022
The carpenters and the security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art had long been members of a union when in 2020, workers from departments across the museum — curators, conservators, educators and librarians — voted to create one of the largest museum unions in the country with nearly 250 members.
Workers at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, soon formed their own unions, part of a wave of labor organizing efforts at nearly two dozen art institutions where employees have created new collective bargaining units in the last three years.
Many of the workers who have recently joined unions have come from the curatorial, administrative and education staffs — white-collar office workers who often had not previously been represented by collective bargaining units.
The surge in organizing has even spawned a podcast, “Art and Labor,” whose producers say they “advocate for fair labor practices for artists, assistants, fabricators, docents, interns, registrars, janitors, writers, editors, curators, guards, performers, and anyone doing work for art & cultural institutions.”