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Workers at Massachusetts museum to take union vote

March 9, 2021 GMT

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) — Workers at a Massachusetts museum, citing job insecurity, low pay, and layoffs during the pandemic, have announced plans to vote on whether to form a union.

Workers at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, including curators, art fabricators, educators, and “front-facing” employees, announced their plans Monday in a news release from UAW Local 2110, which represents cultural and administrative workers in New England and New York, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

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The museum announced last March that 120 of 165 employees would be laid off. Some of the staff let go were rehired, while other long-term employees were not, according to the release.

“In March, many of my colleagues were let go, myself included, with little communication and no assurance there would be a job to return to in future,” Amanda Tobin, associate director of education, said in the release.

“Unionizing is the best way to move forward on equal footing with leadership and start to rebuild trust and reorganize priorities in the face of the very real, systemic issues that the COVID-19 pandemic and this summer’s uprisings for racial justice have exposed,” Tobin said.

Mass MoCA spokesperson Jenny Wright said the museum had no comment.