Philadelphia Museum of Art workers ratify pact to end nearly three-week strike

Workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art are returning to work after reaching agreement on a contract that ended a strike of almost three weeks.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Union announced Sunday night that members had "voted 99 percent in favor" of ratifying what it called "our hard-won first contract."

Museum workers called a one-day warning strike on Sept. 16 before launching the institution’s first museum-wide strike Sept. 26. Museum workers voted to unionize in July 2020 and joined the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 47 as Local 397.

"We are proud of our strength, our unity, our resolve," the union, which represents 180 of the museum’s 350 workers, said in a social media post.

Officials vowed that the museum would remain open during the strike, staffed by managers and nonunion employees, as workers set up picket lines at entrances to the main building on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and at the nearby Perelman Building and the Rodin Museum on the parkway.

The museum hailed what it called "a strong agreement that works for everyone" and said officials "look forward to bringing our entire staff back together and welcoming you to the museum as a reunited team."

The union said it achieved all of its objectives, including pay raises, higher minimums, longevity pay to recognize length of service, and reduced health care costs. The contract also includes paid parental leave and more bereavement leave, the union said.