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Historic union election win at Kidspace Children’s Museum despite management pushback

Historic union election win at Kidspace Children’s Museum despite management pushback
By AFSCME Staff ·

PASADENA, Calif. – It’s official: Some 60 workers at Kidspace Children’s Museum have a voice on the job.

Three months after the workers announced their plans to form the Kidspace United union, a final vote count late last month confirmed that they won their union election by an 82% vote.

It’s the first union at a children’s museum in Los Angeles County. The new union will enable about 60 workers – play facilitators, guest service associates, animal program coordinators, retail associates, and more – to build power.

According to organizers, support for Kidspace United remained high despite management’s attempts to dissuade workers from unionizing.

Undeterred, workers say it was their dedication and commitment to improving the museum that ultimately led to the hard-earned victory.

“Kidspace is a thriving piece of the Pasadena community, and the beautiful learning experiences that happen here couldn’t happen without workers,” said Carter Ward, a guest associate. “I'm excited for us to have the collective power to demand respect and fair compensation for being the vital contributors we are.”

According to Kidspace United, workers began organizing to address issues such as earning a livable wage, securing better training, including staff in the museum’s decision-making process, and more. After going public, workers requested voluntary recognition of Kidspace United. Management refused, which organizers say forced workers to arrange for an avoidable, unnecessarily lengthy and costly election.

Kidspace United also got support from the community, such as from members of the Pasadena City Council and Pasadena Unified School District Board of Trustees. Union allies throughout California also stood with the museum workers, including the California Labor Federation and the Los Angeles County Labor Federation.

So did AFSCME Cultural Workers United, a national network of unionized cultural workers, of which Kidspace United is the newest member.

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