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(Credit: Rolf Müller)


The Dia Art Foundation has announced unionisation plans

The Dia Art Foundation are joining the growing list of cultural institutions to announce their intention of unionisation.

In a post on a brand new Instagram page, they stated: “Dia Art Foundation was founded to help artists achieve visionary projects that might not otherwise be realised due to the scale or the scope. As workers at an institution committed to thoughtfully and deliberately supporting artists over the long term, we imagine a Dia that demonstrates the degree of care and support to the staff that maintain and enliven its sites, locations and programming. We stake our claim in shaping the Dia of the future: a more transparent, equitable, diverse, accessible and ethical workplace.”

A press release from the United Auto Workers (UAW) explained the reasons for Dia’s unionisation, including low wages, lack of job security and ongoing lack of recognition for services. The proposed union would be comprised of 135 full and part-time staff from New York, Beacon, Long Island and New Mexico in a range of professional and non-professional roles.

Madia Rosenstein, president of Local 2110 of the UAW – who represent art and cultural institutions in the US – said: “We’re very excited to be moving forward to the next step here, and we very much hope that Dia will not fight or contest this and that we’ll be able to move forward with an election very quickly without interference from the employer and feel very confident about the election.”

Rosenstein added: “The issues that we hear from workers at Dia are certainly things that they can address through unionisation [such as] low pay and a lot of inequities in terms of pay, not being able to get full-time jobs, very precarious schedules and conditions altogether, lack of a career track, no pathway for being able to actually advance at all, and obviously concerns about maintaining benefits and fairness.”

The Dia is joining several museums and galleries in the US that are getting organised in unionisation in order to improve working conditions, wages and pathways to better careers.

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