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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures recognizes workers’ union

Academy Museum workers rallied last month seeking management’s voluntary recognition for their union. They got it last week. Photo Credit: Andrew Dudenbostel
By AFSCME Staff ·

Last week, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures voluntarily recognized Academy Museum Workers United (AMWU), which is affiliated with AFSCME Council 36. AMWU will represent 160 museum employees at the Los Angeles museum dedicated to promoting and studying motion pictures.

“We are thrilled to have come to an agreement with the Academy Museum over recognition of our union, and to have 69% union support from our co-workers,” said Viviana Santillan, a visitor experience associate. “Now we can move forward in building a working relationship with museum leadership and focus on having a voice over our working conditions and the creative professions to make this institution the best in our community and the world.”

The workers, who organized as AMWU in late May 2022 and filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board in June, received support from other labor partners, including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, California IATSE Council and Writers Guild of America – West.

The workers do a variety of jobs at the museum, from handling visitor experience to curation, education and theater operations.

Jacqueline Stewart, incoming Academy Museum director and president, said, “The Academy Museum respectfully recognizes Academy Museum Workers United and the efforts of members of our staff in organizing. We deeply appreciate the history and importance of unions, acknowledging that much of the museum’s content represents an industry built upon unions and guilds. We look forward to discussions with AMWU’s to-be-formed bargaining team to reach an agreement that serves the represented employees and advances the museum’s core mission.” 

AMWU will form a bargaining team that will negotiate a contract with management at the Academy Museum. They are the latest museum workers to join AFSCME’s Cultural Workers United campaign, which represents workers whose jobs center on sharing and promoting arts and culture with the public.

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