After a tense month and a half of back-and-forth between employees attempting to unionize, company management standing in vocal opposition and a late-game group of anti-union employees popping up, eligible employees of arts corporation Meow Wolf have spoken—the Meow Wolf Workers Collective will henceforth be recognized by the company.
"We are proud to announce that employees in the Meow Wolf Workers Collective voted in favor of unionization," reads a news release from the newly formed union. The anonymous vote conducted by eballot.com went live yesterday with final results coming in this afternoon. "Under our agreement with the corporation, Meow Wolf will immediately recognize the Meow Wolf Workers Collective as an affiliate of the Communication Workers of America."
That national union represents media and tech workers, airline industries, telecommunications and, as of today, people working in entertainment among others.
"We are feeling very good," union rep Michael Wilson tells SFR. "It's been a lot of work for the better part of the last 10 months, and several people have been working essentially a part-time job putting this all together. The conversation has been great, but also rough at times; I think we're all tired and happy, and we're ready for a break."
Wilson says union organizers plan to take a week off; then it's back to the drawing board.
"Basically what happens next is, we need to bring the bargaining unit together and start hashing out what our bylaws are going to be, how we're going to govern ourselves, elect positions, name positions," he explains. "The group of people who've been organizing essentially now just have to get together and re-decide what everything is going to be. The second step is to start figuring out what we want to ask for in a contract."
In a statement from Meow Wolf's office of the CEO (known as the OCEO and consisting of Jim Ward, Ali Rubinstein and Carl Christensen), the company says it now "voluntarily recognizes the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO to be the exclusive bargaining representative for the purposes of collective bargaining with Meow Wolf."
"The founders, management, and Co-CEOs of Meow Wolf…also understand the importance of the healing process after such a disruptive journey and look forward to working with the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO and Meow Wolf Workers Collective on ways that we can mend the delicate fabric of our Meow Wolf culture," the statement continues, "while encouraging practices that are supportive and nurturing to this culture in the future."
Wilson says the voting process was completely anonymous and that eballot.com did not track percentages. In internal polling amongst pro-union members, however, Wilson notes that with a minimum 51% of eligible voters needed to pass the initiative, he estimates MWWC ultimately reached 75% approval, if not more.
"I also want to clarify we're a new local under the CWA—our own entity," Wilson adds. "MWWC is creating our own bylaws, not being run by anyone outside of Meow Wolf. We are by the employees, for the employees, no matter what acronym is being thrown out there. All people need to know is that today, employees today have formed a union. That's a huge deal in our industry. We don't have unions in our industry. It proves once again that Meow Wolf is at the forefront of revolutionizing our industry."