Philadelphia Museum of Art employees stage one-day warning strike for better wages, healthcare

More than 100 Philadelphia Museum of Art employees stayed home from work Friday.

It was all part of a one-day warning strike, leaving management to open the doors to the public.

The union that represents workers in several museum departments says the warning strike stems from contract negotiations begun two years ago, when they unionized.

They accuse museum leaders of violating labor laws and engaging in union-busting.

Workers are calling for better, fairer wages, healthcare and paid family leave.

President of Local 397, Adam Rizzo, explained, "90 percent of the folks in the unit are on a high-deductible healthcare plan, which means we can’t really afford to use our healthcare, especially during a pandemic. That’s so important to workers. And, then other things, like paid family leave. There’s no paid family leave at the museum right now. So, folks save up vacation time, so that they can start a family. And, that’s really just unacceptable."

Union leaders say a full strike could come, if their demands aren’t met.

Everyone is scheduled to resume work Saturday.

The museum released a statement saying it has been negotiating in good faith:

"The museum remains focused on reaching a fair and appropriate contract in the best interest of the staff, the museum, and all Philadelphians."