Workers at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum have recently announced their intention to unionize.
The workers submitted a letter to museum director Janne Sirén and the institution’s board of directors on November 16.
“We recognize that Art and the Labor movement are aligned in collective struggle, and we believe that unionizing is the best path to ensure that we, the workers at the Buffalo AKG, can all take pride of ownership and feel a secure sense of belonging in our workplace and the broader community,” said the workers’ statement, posted on Instagram and on X (formerly known as Twitter) on November 16.
Formerly known as the Albright-Knox Gallery, the museum reopened earlier this year after a four-year closure and a significant expansion.
A video posted on Instagram on November 16 shows three individuals from the AKG Workers United Organizing Committee speaking about the unionization effort during an all-staff meeting at the museum.
“It’s a very positive campaign, and they’re hoping the AKG leadership will respect their right to organize and voluntarily recognize their union at some point,” union spokesperson Casey Moore told the Buffalo News , which first reported the news .
If the campaign succeeds, the union would represent over 100 workers at Buffalo AKG across a variety of departments, from visitor experience to facilities. However, Moore told the Buffalo News that organizers are still determining which positions would be part of the bargaining unit.
Andrea Harden, Buffalo AKG’s director of human resources, sent ARTnews this statement by email: “The Buffalo AKG supports the right of workers to organize. Our employees are absolutely vital to our community, and we are grateful for their efforts to ensure that the museum is a welcoming resource for all. We look forward to productive conversations ahead.”
The logo for the AKG workers’ union campaign is based on one of the most recognizable works in the museum’s collection: Andy Warhol’s 100 Cans (1962), depicting the iconic image of Campbell’s Soup .