Contact: Alex Hoekstra, Directing Business Representative  Cell: (920) 210-7754


Date: October 22nd, 2020

Milwaukee, October 22nd, 2020 –  On October 20th, 2020, the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) filed a request to review the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 18’s Decision and Direction of Election in an attempt to circumvent their employees’ efforts to unionize.   By asking for the election petition to be dismissed, MAM is contesting over 70 years of established legal precedent that allows workers the right to unionize and choose their bargaining representative.  At issue is the fact that District 10 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers currently represents the Museum’s security guards. By filing this request, MAM has made their anti-union animus clear.  Not only do they seek to delay the election, they are seeking to deprive their employees the opportunity to vote entirely.

The IAMAW calls on MAM to immediately drop their request for review and allow the election to proceed without interference, delay tactics, malice or oppression.  If MAM is sincere in their desire to listen to their staff, they will respect their employees’ right to self-determination and to select a bargaining representative of their own choosing.

On October 6th, the NLRB Region 18 found no merit to MAM’s objections to the election petition, which included the museum’s argument that an in-person, manual election was a preferred balloting method in the midst of the current pandemic.  Consequently, mail ballots were sent out to eligible MAM staff this past Monday, October 19th and must be returned to the NLRB Region 18 Office by November 9th at 4:30pm.  The final vote count is scheduled for 1pm on November 13th.

Despite MAM’s open opposition to the unionization effort and the furlough of nearly 100 employees, a strong majority of workers have signed union authorization cards in attempt to resolve a host of workplace issues related to fair compensation, lack of benefits, equal treatment, greater social justice, reasonable job security, a safe work environment, and a defined disciplinary process.  MAM workers’ effort to organize with the IAMAW reflects their dedication to MAM’s mission and their desire to strengthen the Milwaukee community. Improvements in working conditions are essential to reducing turnover and to fulfilling the s stated strategic direction.

About the IAM – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking, and other industries. To learn more, visit or contact Alex Hoekstra, Directing Business Representative at or (920) 210-7754.