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Milwaukee Public Museum workers confront the board of directors

By staff |
February 27, 2020
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Milwaukee, WI - On February 25, workers at the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) packed the annual MPM Board of Directors meeting holding signs reading "Silenced” and "Not allowed to speak."

AFSCME Local 526 represents about 100 workers at the natural history museum, and has been fighting for a decent contract since November. The union submitted in advance a formal request for union members to speak before the board of directors, but the request was denied, so workers decided to attend in protest.

When the workers filed out of the board meeting together workers chanted, "What do we want? Fair contract! When do we want it? Now!" and union leaders and supporters gave short speeches outside the board meeting.

Union members, who are currently working without a contract, are demanding livable wages, fair raises, paid parental leave, and no cuts to health insurance and 401(k) benefits. Administration of the private non-profit MPM Inc. is demanding massive cuts to benefits and raises that lag behind the increasing cost of living.

According to a flier passed out by union members, it would take 24 years for the lowest wage workers to reach a $15 minimum wage at the rate proposed by administration.

The union has used workplace actions to beat back some of the worst proposals, which originally included a pay freeze and tripling the insurance deductible. Museum workers organized a large informational picket, call-in days and flyering museum guests. Dozens of museum workers also delivered a petition to the CEO.

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