More than 150 people, including SF Supervisors Eric Mar, John Avalos and Christina Olague joined Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the Central Labor Council, SF workers and their allies on Friday, Aug. 31 to support de Young and Legion of Honor museum workers, who are fighting an anti-union campaign by their employer.
After hundreds of labor leaders end their annual Pre-Labor Day breakfast, labor leaders and political allies got on a bus to take part in the event.
“All the gains we’ve made for working people can be threatened by tactics being used by management at these museums,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary and Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation.
Museum employees complain museum management has intimidated workers, withheld financial information necessary to bargain the contract and publicly vilified them in the local media for attempting to preserve union rights and win a fair contract.
After nearly a year of stalled bargaining and management foot-dragging, museum workers represented by SEIU Local 1021 voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike authorization at a meeting earlier this month.
With $19.6 million increase in unrestricted net assets over the last two years, the employer — Corporation of Fine Arts Museums (COFAM) — is financially successful, yet management wants to increase healthcare costs and reduce wages for future workers — up to 77 percent in one dramatic case.
The museums would neither open nor function properly without these museum workers, who support, transport, catalogue, secure and display priceless exhibits that attract millions of visitors each year.
Meanwhile, museum bosses recently gave themselves raises and the union estimates that management has paid more than $200,000 to a Downtown San Francisco law firm that workers say has dragged on negotiations.