Art Staff Overcomes Union Busting to Join Local 639, Prepares for Negotiations

POTOMAC, Md., June 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Workers at the Glenstone Museum, a private contemporary art museum in Potomac, Maryland, have joined Teamsters Local 639. The group of 89 workers includes all hourly guides, café workers, registration, grounds, engineering and maintenance, community engagement, and housekeeping staff.

“I was proud to vote yes in this election because I believe that everyone who works at Glenstone deserves a happy, healthy, and fulfilling work environment,” said Lynx Merchant, a guide at Glenstone and new member of Local 639.

“We are the face of Glenstone. From interacting with visitors in the galleries and dining locations to the spotless windows and maintenance of lush landscape, we keep Glenstone running through our daily labor,” said Elizabeth Shaw, a grounds and visitor liaison and new member of Local 639. “I am excited about the opportunity to bring the realities of our work to the bargaining table and negotiate a contract that will ensure the sustainability of our employment.”

Glenstone workers organized with the Teamsters to secure livable wages, improved benefits, and safer working conditions. Many at Glenstone are forced to work second jobs, and part-time employees are not provided health care benefits. Weather safety is also a major concern, with staff being forced to work outdoors during extreme heat and cold.

“We organized with the Teamsters because we need a livable wage and better working conditions,” said Mohannad Shoair, a café attendant at Glenstone and a new member of Local 639. “There is absolutely no justifiable reason any of us should be required to work two jobs to pay rent or work in unsafe conditions. We can’t wait to negotiate a strong first contract that addresses our collective concerns and provides the wages, benefits, and working conditions that we deserve.”

During the organizing campaign, workers faced an intense union-busting campaign orchestrated by the museum’s multi-billionaire owners, Mitchell and Emily Rales. The Glenstone Foundation, which reported net assets of $4.4 billion in 2022, spent tens of thousands of dollars on union avoidance consultants from known union-busting firms Proskauer Rose and the American Labor Group.

“These workers defeated a sophisticated union-busting assault personally waged by some of the wealthiest people in America,” said Bill Davis, President of Local 639. “I want to welcome them to our local union, and I look forward to helping them negotiate a first Teamsters contract.”  

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.3 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at

Kara Deniz, (202) 497-6610
[email protected]

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters

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