International Museum Day: shining a spotlight on museum workers

By Pete Levine ·
Tags: Our Stories

They’re the guardians of our country’s most priceless treasures, and on International Museum Day, which is Saturday, AFSCME is shining a spotlight on the people who make our museums happen.

As AFSCME President Lee Saunders points out in a video, museum workers may be employed by prestigious institutions with huge endowments, but many can’t afford to pay the rent.

They are speaking out with their union voices.

Fueled by workers who are shifting the narrative around respect, labor and dignity, AFSCME’s Cultural Workers United campaign is catching fire and giving workers in museums, libraries and other cultural institutions a voice in their workplaces.

“Many people have cherished stories about the trips they took to museums and what they learned about themselves and the world. Museum and cultural workers make those moments happen. They preserve history and art, teach us about science, and inspire creativity and innovation. Over the past five years, they have also led a wave of labor organizing that is changing and improving what it means to be a museum worker,” Saunders said in a statement.

“With union momentum on their side, cultural workers are ensuring that these beloved institutions remain accessible to everyone in our communities,” he added. “That is cause for celebration on this International Museum Day.