Six years after the arts corporation meow wolf opened its first site in Santa Fe, members of the Meow Wolf Workers Collective announced on Friday that a contractual agreement between the union and management had finally been reached and would now proceed to a ratification process. The news comes after approximately 16 months of negotiations, as well as a host of milestones in recent years, including the formation of the union in October 2020, anti-union language in a job posting last September, a new CEO and accusations of unfair labor practices. in January, various lawsuits and, of course, mass layoffs at the start of the pandemic that left 201 employees out of work.
“It’s a good day today,” Milagro Padilla of the Communication Workers of America union, under which the Meow Wolf Workers Collective operates, told SFR. Padilla has assisted the MWWC through training and negotiations and will continue in this capacity at least until the contract is ratified.
“The main lines are that there are a lot of really big payouts for workers, including a minimum of $60,000 for its artists,” Padilla continues, “and most will be increased, which is long overdue.”
The union, meanwhile, seems to be celebrating on Twitter:
Padilla notes that the ratification process should be relatively quick; the next steps are to make all union members aware of the terms of the tentative contract.
“We’ll want to have a few meetings to educate people first so they know what they’re voting for,” Padilla says, “and then we’ll have that vote, because we don’t want to delay the process too long. .”
Padilla further says he believes the contractual agreement and its subsequent vote will help dispel any undue fears that union interests have been dictated by third parties. Ultimately, however, he says, things are finally looking up.
“We have a deal that we’re really proud of,” says Padilla. “What we hear back from the union at this point is that people are happy. I am so proud of the work these people have done. [Meow Wolf] truly employs some of the brightest and most creative people I’ve ever met, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish together over the past two and a half years.
“After nearly a year of good faith negotiations, we are delighted to have reached agreement on our first contract with the MWWC/CWA bargaining unit,” read a statement to SFR from Meow Wolf management. . “Working together, we have arrived at solutions that will make our entire company stronger and better able to fulfill our mission. We look forward to the early ratification of our first contract and appreciate the support the entire company has shown for this important process.