Solidarity Rally on Saturday for Tacoma Art Museum workers

Despite 90% support, Tacoma Art Museum has not yet recognized union


TACOMA — Workers at the Tacoma Art Museum announced Oct. 17 that they have formed a union, Tacoma Art Museum Workers United (TAM Workers United), as part of AFSCME Council 28. TAM Workers United is seeking to become the first wall-to-wall union of museum workers in Washington state as they seek livable wages, safe working conditions, transparency and accountability from management, and respect on the job.

But despite support from all departments and 90% of union-eligible staff, the museum has not yet indicated that it will voluntarily recognize their union.

TAKE A STAND — It’s time for the labor movement and community supporters to step up and send a message to TAM administrators. Please attend a TAM Workers United Solidarity Rally on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. at Tollefson Plaza, 1548 Commerce St., directly across Pacific Avenue from the museum. Let’s send a message that TAM needs to respect the overwhelming majority of workers who want to unionize by voluntarily recognizing TAM Workers United as their union. RSVP here.

Can’t attend Saturday’s rally? You can also show your support by signing the community support letter. Also, be sure to follow TAM Workers United on Instagramand Twitter for the latest updates.

“TAM workers are undervalued, underpaid, and unheard,” said Eden Redmond, an Institutional Giving Manager at TAM. “Frontline staff have their hours capped, too little to earn healthcare yet too many to get additional work. Wages are far below livable and below industry standards. Physical and personal safety are not prioritized. Resources for grievances or advancement are available only if you can find them, invent them, or befriend the right people. Without clear access to resources, those already underserved by society remain underserved in their workplace. These conditions led us to turn to one another for solidarity and begin work on what is now TAM Workers United.”

TAM Workers United have asked the museum’s administrators to voluntarily recognize their union. They are also asking for no intimidation, coercion, or costly anti-union actions by management.

“I’d like to share a line from TAM’s mission statement,” said Stephen Rue, the Lead Preparator at TAM: “’Tacoma Art Museum transforms our communities by sharing art that inspires broader perspectives and cultivates a compassionate future.’ We transform our community. TAM Workers United could not agree with this more! We want to develop a healthy and thriving art district in Tacoma. We want TAM to prosper and to fulfill its mission to our community. But we want the leadership of TAM to know that if we say we value the public who come through our front doors, then we must also recognize the value of the people that open those doors to them every day.”

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