On the morning of July 9th, ballots were counted by the NLRB and the workers of Anthology Film Archives unanimously voted to unionize and join the UAW. Specifically, they are joining the Local 2110 which covers Technical, Office, and Professional occupations.
Much like there was a wave of journalists unionizing in recent years, members of cultural and art institutions are realizing the benefits of collective bargaining.
For Anthology, this vote included approximately 20 box office attendants, theater managers, programming staff, archivists, and other administrative staff.
Staff organized virtually during the pandemic while the theater was closed and many were furloughed from work. They cite issues of low pay and job security as reasons for organizing a union. "At this essential cinema, these conditions are essential, for all the workers here and for our future," says Bradley Eros, who has worked as a theater manager for 23 years and has been furloughed since March 2020.
"Our union is the collective voice of everyone who works every day to create this wonderful space, and with that collective voice, we can build a better future for each other and for the communities that support Anthology’s mission," says David Park, theater manager.
UAW Local 2110 also represents staff at Film at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Museum of Modern Art which includes those working in film. Other art and cultural institutions represented in the city include the New Museum, the Tenement Museum, and Studio in a School. Two weeks ago, the Hispanic Society Museum and Library also voted to unionize. The Whitney and the Brooklyn Museums are currently voting on whether to unionize. "Organizing at Anthology isn't just about us. We're a part of a growing movement of organizing in the arts, and our unionization will raise the bar for workers at other non-profit cultural institutions," says John Klacsmann, Anthology's Archivist.
Last year, Anthology Film Archives celebrated their 50th anniversary year and are currently preparing for a capital expansion project for their 32 Second Avenue building. "Anthology's success over the past fifty years is due to the hard work the staff has put into making it such a singular and indispensable resource for filmgoers," says Kolbe Resnick, Head Theater Manager, "Our union will ensure that we are protected, and valued by the institution, in the same way that we cherish the role Anthology continues to play in our community."