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Oakland Museum of California workers announce plans to unionize

Photo: OMCA Workers Union
Oakland Museum of California workers announce plans to unionize
By AFSCME Council 57 ·

OAKLAND, Calif. – Workers at the Oakland Museum of California launched their campaign to unionize their workplace on Wednesday. 

A group of museum workers are organizing as Oakland Museum of California Workers United (OMCAWU) and seek to unite through AFSCME Council 57. The new union would cover approximately 90 workers across the museum and include preparators, ticketing and retail associates, curators, technicians, designers, program developers and more.

According to a letter circulated by OMCAWU’s organizing committee, workers are forming their union to advocate for full-time hours, affordable health benefits, livable wages, transparency and a voice in the museum’s decision-making process. OMCAWU also believes that the museum would be a better institution for workers and the Oakland community when staff work together and build a partnership with management to further the museum’s goals and values.

Linds Young, a learning, experience, and programming developer at the museum and a member of the union’s organizing committee, said, “We're organizing in pursuit of affordable health care for all of the museum’s workers, pay commensurate with the cost of living in the Bay Area, and transparency and collaboration in decision-making.”

“I really value the museum's mission and the work we do for the community” said Erin Schilling, who works as an associate preparator at the museum. “And that’s why I’m joining my co-workers in forming our union, to be in solidarity with my co-workers as we strive for a more equitable institution.”

OMCAWU's organizing campaign follows the success of other museums across the country who have successfully unionized with AFSCME Cultural Workers United (CWU). Among the over 100 museums represented by AFSCME CWU are the Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York, Please Touch Museum in Pennsylvania and Iowa Children's Museum. Nationwide, AFSCME represents more cultural workers than any other union, including 10,000 museum workers and more than 25,000 library workers.

For more information and on OMCAWU’s campaign visit

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