Spyhouse, Walker Art Center pushing to unionize

Walker workers
Walker workers took to the bridge connecting Loring Park to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on Sept. 26 and announced their intent to unionize. Submitted photo

Two local workforces are aiming to unionize.

Workers at Spyhouse Coffee and the Walker Art Center have declared their intent to organize and collectively bargain for improved wages and conditions.

Workers at the Walker Art Center announced their union on Sept. 26 and displayed a massive banner over the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge between the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Loring Park.

Staff from departments across the Lowry Hill museum are involved in the union campaign, according to a post on social media. Representatives declined to comment when reached by the Southwest Journal.

The Spyhouse Union was formed in early September, and workers at all five locations, including the East Isles and Whittier branches in Southwest, held a one-day strike on Sept. 19 to demand better COVID-19 protection protocols to keep staff safe. Spyhouse management has not voluntarily recognized the union, organizers said on social media.

Attempts to reach representatives with the Spyhouse Union and Unite Here, Local 17, which represents Minneapolis hospitality workers, were not successful as of press time.

Workers at businesses across Minneapolis, like Surly Brewing and Tattersall Distilling, have been organizing this summer, seeking a larger seat at the table for decisions made during the pandemic.

Disclosure: Southwest Journal editor Zac Farber’s partner is an employee of the Walker Art Center.