Skip to main content

Workers at Walters Art Museum win union election

Photo credit: Walters Workers United Instagram
Workers at Walters Art Museum win union election
By AFSCME Maryland Council 3 ·

BALTIMORE – Nearly 80 workers at the Walters Art Museum have overwhelmingly voted to form their union with AFSCME Maryland Council 3 

Workers voted 60-5 in favor of their union during a June 15 election conducted by the American Arbitration Association. The new bargaining unit will consist of staff from the departments of retail operations, conservation, curatorial, safety and security, building operations, marketing and communication, installation and collections, learning and community engagement, and others. 

“I’m so overwhelmingly proud and happy to be a part of this amazing accomplishment. I’m in awe of my courageous colleagues who fought to make this happen. This is a great day and will be a lasting legacy we leave behind for future employees of the Walters,” said Will Murray, a lead maintenance technician at the Walters.  

The workers announced their intention to form Walters Workers United (WWU) in spring 2021 to resolve concerns regarding health and safety, pay equity, a voice in the workplace, and paths to career advancement, among other reasons. 

Throughout the organizing process, workers steadfastly fought for a “wall-to-wall” union — one union for all workers across the museum. Workers felt strongly that they should not be divided into two different bargaining units with multiple unions. 

After more than two years of organizing, we are excited to see Walters Art Museum workers win their union election. The victory brings Walters Workers United closer towards a workplace where their talent and contributions are valued and their input and voices are respected and heard. We’re honored to have the members of Walters Workers United as part of the AFSCME Maryland family because all workers deserve the right to organize for the pay, respect and better working conditions,” said Council 3 President Patrick Moran. 

This victory is the third big win in the past year for Baltimore’s cultural workers organizing with AFSCME. Last year, workers at the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Enoch Pratt Free Library won their union elections with AFSCME.  

This wave of organizing is part of a national movement of workers at cultural and arts institutions coming together and organizing with AFSCME Cultural Workers United. CWU is a national organizing program that has enabled workers at museums, libraries, zoos and other cultural institutions to build power and gain a voice in the workplace.  

Related Posts