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Policy: Labor

Smithsonian food court workers get union

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,Analysis,Smithsonian Institution

In an apparent first for an institution on the National Mall, the people who staff the food courts at two Smithsonian museums will become union members. A reported 220 will join the food service industry union Unite Here.

The workers are not federal employees, but rather work for a food service company contracted by the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of American History. Nevertheless, it gives Unite Here a foothold in museums.

"People have wondered whether this is just a media-driven phenomenon," Paco Fabian, a spokesman for Good Jobs Nation, an advocacy group, told the Washington Post. "Here's an example of something that is tangible."

The American Federation of Government Employees represents other Smithsonian workers.

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