New Museum Union

From Maria Starzmann

January 24, 2019

Statement in support of a New Museum Union

My name is Maria Starzmann, and I worked at the New Museum as a Visitor Assistant for 6 months in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017. At the end of a long work day, I would often chat with my coworkers in Visitor Services, but also with the staff in security and maintenance, and I soon realized that we all experienced our jobs as precarious.

No one made enough money, so everyone was always on the lookout for the next gig, which also meant that hardly anyone stuck around long enough to try to change this situation. But what if we got organized, I would ask? It’s not going to make a difference, was the usual answer. When I learned from an article in ArtNews earlier this month that workers at the New Museum were fighting for a union, I was thrilled. Getting organized does make a difference, and I support your struggle with all my heart!

Before I joined the New Museum, I had been unionized in every single job I held. Somehow, it was the natural thing for me to do and I didn’t think too much about the political importance of it. But today I want to share with you a list of the most important reasons why I think forming a New Museum Union is the right thing to do:

In solidarity!

Maria Starzmann, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York Office / Member of UAW Local 2110