BOSTON (AP) — Members of the union that represents about 200 workers at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts have voted to hold a one-day strike next week over stalled contract negotiations with management.

More than 96% of the union, which represents public-facing staff, library workers, educators, curators, conservators, and administrative and professional workers, voted to picket outside the museum next Wednesday, union officials told The Boston Globe for a story Thursday.

Workers are concerned about pay, safety, workplace diversity, requiring union membership and job growth, according to Eve Mayberger, a member of the union’s bargaining team.

“Management has not really engaged with most of these issues and are coming back with very mild adjustments,” said Mayberger, an assistant objects conservator.

Managers said in a statement Friday that despite the financial challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the museum remains committed to properly paying its employees.

But the museum also said that after seven months of progress and productive dialogue, the union’s bargaining committee has gone more than seven weeks without responding to the latest proposal.

“We remain committed to staying at the bargaining table to create an equitable and sustainable outcome," museum management said.

The museum plans to “remain open and will provide the best possible experience we can to our visitors during the one-day strike."

Museum employees voted overwhelmingly last November to join the United Auto Workers Local 2110.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, The Boston Globe.

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(4) comments

Terence Y

Well of course workers need to go on strike for more pay. There’s an extra mouth to feed in the form of union dues. What exactly did the United Auto Workers promise museum workers if these workers would join? Are members of the UAW also striking for one day, in solidarity (I think they have to, don’t they)? Nowadays, with smart phones and wi-fi service, do visitors really need these museum workers? In the short term, you could fire all of them and hire third parties for maintenance. In the longer term, get rid of the union and re-hire recent graduates to do the same job, at much lower costs. C’mon, let’s give these youngsters a solid start to their careers. BTW, other museums, take note of what happens when museum workers join auto workers (strange bedfellows indeed).

Tafhdyd

Terence,

I see you are a follower of the corporate greed philosophy of squeeze the workers until they either quit/die or give in to the demands of the employer. Rather than keep qualified dependable workers you think they should get rid of them and continually replace them with younger cheaper labor. Another option is to pile on work with no help or higher pay to compensate for the extra work until you break the workers spirit, or back, which ever comes first. I am surprised you didn’t suggest filling all the slots with part time help. That way you never have to pay for any benefits like vacation time, sick leave or health plans.

I almost forgot. You could also follow the business model of your great conman, Donald, and refurbish the place, charge a lot of personal expenses to the project and then file for bankruptcy. Speaking of replacing the old with the new. Don’t you think it is about the end of the run for Melania?

Terence Y

Taffy, I like that you have to make a number of questionable assumptions to present a narrative. Assuming existing union workers are qualified and dependable. Assuming the museum piles on work with no help or higher pay. Assuming workers are forced to continue to work for the employer. Take away your assumptions and what do you have? Not much of a relevant argument. However, I do like your idea of part-time help. It’s a good way for both sides to interview each other to see if it’ll be a good fit. BTW, isn’t it a bit sexist to assume our great President Trump would replace our great First Lady? After all, Melania may want to replace our great President Trump. Do you not believe in equal rights?

Tafhdyd

Terence,

Once again you read too fast and assume what I implied. Here it is again. "Speaking of replacing the old with the new. Don’t you think it is about the end of the run for Melania?" Take note that I did not specify which one was going to get rid of the other. If anything it would imply that Melania would be the one getting rid of the "old" Donald. And yes I do believe in equal rights AND equal pay for the same work.

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