Workers at Museum of Fine Arts Boston to Hold Daylong Strike

November 16th, 2021

Citing management’s refusal over the course of seven months to negotiate contracts, the union representing more than two hundred employees of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA Boston) has authorized a one-day strike, to be implemented Wednesday, November 17, the Boston Globe reports. Ninety-six percent of union members voted for the action, which will not impact the institution’s ability to greet the public, as it is expected to remain open throughout the strike. The picket will begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the museum’s Huntington Avenue entrance.

The MFA union, in existence for less than a year, represents public-facing staff, library workers, educators, curators, conservators, and administrative and professional workers whose concerns regarding issues including pay, safety, workplace diversity, opportunities for job growth, and union membership have not been adequately addressed by museum management, according to Eve Mayberger, a member of the organization’s bargaining team. Mayberger, an assistant objects conservator who has worked for five years at MFA Boston, pointed to management’s pattern of continuing to offer “mild adjustments” to major concerns. “It’s . . . interesting to think about how many hours we have spent talking about it,” she said, “and how far apart we still are.”

The museum on Friday issued a statement in support of its workers’ right to unionize, claiming that it met with union representatives in “good faith” and asserting that “positive progress” had been made. The institution additionally asserted that the union has for seven weeks failed to address a wage proposal, saying that museum officials “remain committed to staying at the bargaining table to create an equitable and sustainable outcome.”

Maida Rosenstein, president of United Auto Workers 2110, with which the museum’s workers are affiliated, noted that under the three-year contract proposed by the institution, workers would not be guaranteed raises until its final year.