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The Marciano Art Foundation.
The Marciano Art Foundation.

Marciano Art Foundation Workers Push to Unionize

Staffers at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles have initiated a union drive. The New York Times reports that around seventy part-time employees of the private museum, which was founded by Maurice and Paul Marciano, the creators of the fashion label Guess, and opened its doors in 2017, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday, November 1.  

Among those organizing are docents, visitor services associates, and other front-facing staffers. “The foundation relies on a system of labor that has historically undervalued its workers, paying workers minimum wage without benefits or basic protections,” they wrote in a statement. The minimum wage in Los Angeles is $14.25 per hour.

The employees have joined a score of other museum workers who have moved to form unions at their institutions, including at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and the Frye Museum in Seattle, earlier this year in an attempt to improve working conditions and achieve higher payer and greater transparency from management. The Marciano Art Foundation workers are looking to join the District Council 36 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

In response to the push to unionize, the museum released the following statement: “As an organization, we are supportive of all recommendations to improve the workplace experience and will give this careful attention as we begin our discussions.”