Eleven months after the certification of their union election with the IAM, workers at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) are sending letters to the MAM Board of Trustees, urging the Board to provide living wages, increased access to health insurance, a workplace that fosters diversity and equity, and to achieve a first contract that recognizes the essential contributions of MAM workers to fulfilling the museum’s mission and strategic direction.
SIGN THE PETITION: Milwaukee Art Museum Workers Deserve a Fair First Contract
“MAM workers deserve a fair first contract,” said Alex Hoekstra, IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative. “Their hard work and dedication to the museum, the arts and to the community is second-to-none.”
“The prolonged delay by the MAM Board to agree upon a fair first contract is beyond disrespectful to a group who are the beacons of their community,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “The IAM will not stop fighting for these workers who exercised their right to form a union. They are part of our Machinists family, and we will exercise every resource we have to ensure they are provided the livable wages and compensation they justly deserve.”
MAM workers’ campaign to organize with the IAM reflects their dedication to MAM’s mission and desire to strengthen the Milwaukee community. Nearly 90% of MAM employees in the newly organized bargaining unit call Milwaukee County home. To do the best work possible and lead in the arts and culture sector regionally and nationally, the museum must begin by valuing its employee base equitably.
Without providing fair and living wages to its workers, the museum will not be able to recruit and retain a diverse staff across all departments that truly reflect the Milwaukee community. Counting just those employees covered by the contract, the museum has lost over 120 cumulative years of experience in the past four months. Improvements in working conditions are essential to reducing turnover.
READ: Milwaukee Art Museum workers petition for living wages and increased benefits WDJT-TV Milwaukee