At a vote on Thursday, employees seeking to form a union at the New Museum in New York elected to join Local 2110, a United Auto Workers group that also oversees unions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New-York Historical Society.
The election, which was staged in the New Museum’s theater, was run by the National Labor Relations Board. According to a union representative, the election’s tally was 38 yes votes to 8 no votes, with 10 more votes that were unopened because they were challenged by the museum.
“We have a union—that’s the big news,” Dana Kopel, a senior editor and publications coordinator at the New Museum and a member of the union’s organizing committee, told ARTnews. “From here, we go into negotiations.”
“The eligible employees considered the pros and cons of unionization and decided in favor of a union,” the New Museum said in a statement shared with ARTnews. “We respect their decision, and will move forward in good faith.”
The New Museum union, which is called NewMuU-UAW Local 2110, is comprised of 74 workers at the institution. Members of the union previously told ARTnews that the group was seeking a new contract and greater transparency at the institution. Earlier this month, many of the workers in the bargaining unit assembled in the museum’s lobby to campaign for the union.
When ARTnews first reported the news of the proposed union in early January, the New Museum was working with the Kentucky-based firm Adams Nash Haskell & Sheridan, which NewMuU-UAW Local 2110 said in a prior statement was waging “a harsh union-busting campaign” against the group. (The New Museum told ARTnews that it had “concluded” working with Adams Nash Haskell & Sheridan.) Last week, an open letter to the New Museum that was signed by more than 50 artists, curators, and historians was issued in support of the union.