Posts tagged Whitney Museum

    Voluntary Recognition of Unions Is Increasingly Popular Among U.S. Employers

    January 23, 2023 // In January 2023, Microsoft recognized a union of playtesters at its subsidiary ZeniMax Studios; Major League Baseball voluntarily recognized minor league players’ choice to join the Major League Baseball Players Association in September; workers at a number of media organizations had their unions recognized throughout 2021 and 2022; and mission-driven organizations such as charities, museums, civil rights and environmentalist groups, think tanks, and other nonprofits all voluntarily recognized worker unions as well. Other businesses, including The Metals Company, Forever Energy, and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, signed neutrality agreements with unions, under which the firms agreed to refrain from engaging in anti-union tactics during an election. Some companies have communicated that they have pursued voluntary recognition because their own organizations’ goals broadly align with those of workers. In particular, a number of mission-driven organizations have opted for voluntary recognition in recent years, including the Whitney Museum, the Shed, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, the Brookings Institution, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Capital Roots, Code for America, and others. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a national nonprofit that litigates to protect civil liberties, first voluntarily recognized the unionization of national staffers with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 70, also called the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, in 2021.* One of the ACLU’s state affiliates, the ACLU of Texas, also recognized its workers’ choice to unionize with United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2320 in 2022. Indeed, as the ACLU of Texas stated after recognizing its employee union: Media and news organizations have seen some of the largest voluntary recognition agreements signed in the United States. Along with workers at Politico, The Atlantic, Public News Service, The State, and others, employees at Condé Nast won voluntary recognition for their staff union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 2022. Spurred on by their co-workers at The New Yorker and other Condé Nast publications that voted in favor of joining the NewsGuild-CWA in 2018, these workers organized a union that covers 500 workers, including 100 subcontractors. Workers have also won voluntary recognition in the entertainment industry, including at the International Documentary Association, Seven Seas Entertainment, and the iHeartPodcast Network, as well as through the Animation Guild.

    Opinion: How to Unionize the Artworld

    August 15, 2022 // The AWC envisioned a more egalitarian artworld. Leading artistic and cultural institutions like MoMA relied on the labour of hundreds of people, from artists to archivists to cloakroom attendants, and the group felt that they should all have a voice in institutional decision-making, including the ability to bargain over pay and working conditions. As well as empowering art workers, the AWC also sought to make art more available to the public. In one creative act of protest, artist Joseph Kosuth designed a lookalike MoMA membership card, emblazoned with the AWC logo, which purported to grant the cardholder free entry. Unfortunately the AWC, like many radical groups of the era, was not long for this world. Members voted to solidify their project by forming an art workers’ union in 1970, but its scope was ill-defined and the effort fizzled.