Boston museum workers one-day strike over wages, COVID-19 safety – Community News

Boston museum workers one-day strike over wages, COVID-19 safety

BOSTON — Pandemic-weary workers at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts went on a one-day strike Wednesday over stalled contract negotiations with management, the latest strike amid a months-long upsurge in workers’ protests nationwide.

Members of the Union of the Museum of Fine Arts, which represents about 200 workers, pecked outside the museum from about 8:30 a.m. queue to enter the museum.

The union says workers are concerned about wages, safety, workplace diversity and job growth, with more than 96% of its members voting in favor of strike.

The museum remained open during the one-day strike and had 900 visitors, up from about 1,200 the previous Wednesday, spokesman Karen Frascona said. Officials have said they are committed to paying workers well despite the financial challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The MFA Union represents public servants, librarians, educators, curators, conservators, and administrative and professional staff. Museum workers voted overwhelmingly last November to join United Auto Workers Local 2110, a New York-based union that represents more than 3,000 workers in universities, publishing houses, museums, law firms and other offices.

Union officials did not immediately respond to emails asking for comment on Wednesday.

The move comes as strikes elsewhere in the country, as well as rare unionization efforts by workers at major companies like Amazon and Starbucks, have made headlines.

More than 10,000 union workers at Deere & Co., the Illinois makers of the popular John Deere line of agricultural and construction equipment, laid off their jobs in mid-October.

As of early October, approximately 1,400 employees of Michigan-based Kellogg Co. on strike at grain mills in Omaha, Pennsylvania, Tennessee.

Meanwhile, unions representing 50,000 Kaiser Permanente workers in California, Oregon and six other states called off a planned strike this week after reaching a preliminary labor agreement with the health network.

A union representing University of California educators similarly called off a planned two-day strike this week after reaching a preliminary contract agreement with the UC system.

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