Contact: Alex Hoekstra, Directing Business Representative

Cell: (920) 210-7754


Date: November 14th, 2020


Milwaukee Art Museum Workers Win Wall-to-Wall Union with the IAMAW


Milwaukee, November 14th, 2020 –  On Friday, November 13th Milwaukee Art Museum workers overwhelmingly chose to have a voice at their workplace when they voted by a 72% majority to join  District 10 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).  Professional and non-professional staff will be included in the bargaining unit which unites dozens of job classifications under one bargaining contract.  Of the 81 votes cast, 58 voted yes for the Union.

The IAMAW has represented the art museum’s security guards for decades.  Now, despite opposition and obstacles repeatedly thrown down by MAM management, their coworkers look forward to negotiating their first wall-to-wall collective bargaining agreement.  The new Machinists Union members work in every capacity at the art museum including Visitor Services, Art Preparation, Food and Beverage, Communications, Curatorial, Education & Programs, Information Systems, and more.

MAM workers have overcome multiple obstacles this year to achieve this historic vote.  Despite the museum’s open hostility towards the unionization effort, attempts to delay and throw out the election, the furlough of nearly 100 employees, and the challenges posed by the pandemic, museum staff remained steadfast in their effort to achieve a voice at work.  They hope to work productively with MAM on a long list of workplace issues including living wages, the lack of health care for part time employees, equal treatment, greater social justice, reasonable job security, a safe work environment, and a defined disciplinary process.

MAM workers’ vote to organize with the IAMAW reflects their dedication to the art museum’s mission and their desire to strengthen the Milwaukee community. Improvements in working conditions are essential to reducing turnover and to fulfilling the art museum’s 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.