New Meow Wolf worker group calls for collectivism—not unionization

Reunion for Meow Wolf site clashes with potential unionization efforts at Meow Wolf

With a series of statements that call for a return to the company's collectivist roots—and a cheeky nod to Buckminster Fuller—a number of Meow Wolf employees seem to have launched an anti-union site called Reunion for Meow Wolf.

While the site expresses gratitude to the newly formed Meow Wolf Workers Collective for its work thus far, it also lists several reasons for not supporting an effort to unionize. These include what they say is the exclusion of critical voices; a lack of transparency in the union effort; and curtailed freedom of speech in future negotiations with management. The statement, signed by a dozen current Meow Wolf employees so far, also expresses ongoing faith in Meow Wolf and the desire to allow its new head of human resources and a third-party contractor hired to assist in employee culture to have the opportunity to finish work they say has already begun in addressing issues of pay equity, compensation structures, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

In its FAQ section, the group identifies itself as Meow Wolf employees who are members of the bargaining unit but want an approach to workplace issues that includes all voices, not just bargaining unit members. The FAQ acknowledges that the "Reunion" approach does not have the same "legal protections, outside resources, and bargaining power as organizing with a union," and that Meow Wolf has not historically always "been responsive to the requests of the workers." Nonetheless, they say they believe the risks of forming a union outweigh the benefits. The FAQ also addresses issues such as union elections and dues.

"Given the information we've been presented with and the research we've done, we feel strongly that [the union] is not the right approach," the site's text reads. "We almost completely agree on the destination, we just don't agree with the approach…"

Meow Wolf recently hired its first-ever chief people officer, Erin Hirsch, whose work is intended to foster "a productive and healthy workplace environment, including diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives," according to a press release from earlier this month. The Reunion for Meow Wolf site states it wishes to work toward inter-company change alongside Hirsch and Sweet Livity LLC, a Florida-based LLC that "services support people to transform the spaces where they live, work, and play into healthy, life-affirming and productive environments."

An email sent to Sweet Livity was not returned. SFR requested comment from the workers supporting the Reunion for Meow Wolf site, who in turn requested questions in writing in advance of an interview. SFR submitted those questions and, upon reviewing them, the group declined to comment, according to a spokesperson.

Meow Wolf management, however, released a statement to SFR, saying that "While we recognize and respect our employee's rights to organize, we also support the open dialogue towards strengthening our company. Over the past few weeks, our employees have been holding vigorous discussions to question and understand the issues at hand. This is the Meow Wolf way. We have encouraged all of our employees to thoroughly educate themselves on what the future of our company could look like, with and without a union. The most important part of Meow Wolf, above all else, is the people—and we want to continue working together to find new solutions for the future."

Meanwhile, on Sept. 16, organizers of the Meow Wolf Workers Collective announced through social media that they'd filed for a worker election through the National Labor Review Board after management refused to recognize the union. A date for that vote has not been set, though if it goes through, MWWC would operate under the auspices of the Communication Workers of America, which includes telecommunications, video game and other types of entertainment workers.

"Meow Wolf Workers Collective is excited about the dialogue that's going on among employees at Meow Wolf right now, and supports all collective organization efforts, even when views are different from MWWC. Ultimately, however, we believe a union will allow for a happier, healthier, and more equitable workplace," union organizers say in a statement provided to SFR. "The main difference of what MWWC is asking for and what this other group seems to be promoting is a process that includes the legal support and protections provided to workers by the NLRA."

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