Philadelphia Museum of Art workers to hold one-day strike Friday

Philadelphia Museum of Art
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The Philadelphia Museum of Art will remain open to visitors on Friday, administrators said, even as unionized employees picket outside the iconic institution.

Leaders of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Union, Local 397, on Thursday called for a one-day “warning strike” as the organization seeks its first contract with management since workers unionized in 2020.

In August, union members overwhelmingly voted in favor of authorizing a strike — giving the organization’s six-person leadership team the power to organize a strike — and Local 397 filed charges against museum leaders with the National Labor Relations Board.

Since the strike vote in August, those grievances have not been settled, and negotiations have not progressed, according to the union.

“We take this very seriously,” Local 397 President Adam Rizzo said in a statement. “If museum management does not remedy the Unfair Labor Practice charge and come to the bargaining table ready to make real progress, we are prepared to take further action.”

Employees from across the museum’s departments will demonstrate on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, union representatives said.

A spokesperson for the PMA said the iconic institution will keep its doors open through the one-day strike.

“We are disappointed that the union has chosen to strike, but we remain focused on reaching a fair and appropriate contract with the union,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Rizzo told the Metro late last month that the top issues in negotiations include compensation, benefits and the use of temporary and contract employees.

Local 397 has accused the museum of converting positions that were previously full-time into temporary or fixed-length jobs.