Teaching tolerance doesn’t mean tolerating poverty wages

02/06/2019

Workers at Los Angeles’s Museum of Tolerance make up part of a national wave of museum workers unionizing for respect, Bloomberg Law reports. That’s because museum employees work in a field that often takes unfair advantage of employees’ loyalty to a nonprofit mission.

Organizing drives there, as well as in New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts, show that museum workers organizing comprise a national movement of museum employees turning to collective action and collective bargaining to secure their rights in the workplace.

At LA’s Museum of Tolerance, some workers were making as little as $12 an hour in 2017. Pay was the primary reason the workers organized, Erica Zeitlin, a communications officer with the employees’ union, told Bloomberg Law.

“In a city like Los Angeles, with living costs, those are poverty wages,” she said. “They just felt they were being taken advantage of.”

The employees’ first contract, ratified last year, raises those rates by several dollars over four years.

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