Meow Wolf Denver approves union, recognized by company

Meow Wolf leaders said they will recognize a pair of new, Denver-based employee unions after a majority of workers at its Convergence Station signaled interest in joining Monday.

The immersive-art company’s voluntary recognition of the new bargaining units — represented by the Meow Wolf Workers Collective (MWWC), under the Communications Workers of America — comes after a union representative announced the intent to organize in early July.

About 70% of Denver’s 230 workers voted to join the union, following “positive discussions with union representatives … good progress and know(ing) both parties want to resolve this as soon as possible,” according to a Meow Wolf spokesperson. The company suggested a card check — or collecting signatures on authorization forms — as opposed to the online vote proposed by the MWWC.

At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 1, the collection of signed authorization forms was underway. Mere hours later, union officials and a third-party arbiter approved the results — and quickly thereafter, the company did as well — according to lead organizer Milagro Padilla.

“Meow Wolf held up (its) end of the bargain,” Padilla said Monday afternoon. “It sets a wonderful precedent.”

One union will represent security workers, while the other will represent operations workers at Convergence Station, which make up the majority of employees. Meow Wolf leaders are looking forward to working with the union to find common ground “as we begin the collective bargaining process,” the company said in a statement to The Denver Post.

MWWC officials first announced Denver’s intent to join via Twitter on July 22. They’ve also expressed loyalty to the company’s creative goals, despite having come to loggerheads with its ownership and management at times in the past.

“We are not against Meow Wolf, because we are Meow Wolf,” MWWC organizers wrote on unionformeowwolf.com, the official site of the Meow Wolf Workers Collective (MWWC), in July. “Forming a union is an act of care, for ourselves and those who work with us.”

Indeed, the differences in this union effort versus the original was “night and day,” Padilla said, referencing the former’s lengthy and at times rancorous process. The Denver employees’ union formation follows recent wage-and-benefit wins touted by the original, 170-member Meow Wolf workers’ union in Santa Fe, N.M., home to the company’s first installation, the House of Eternal Return. Denver’s Convergence Station opened in September 2021.

Over the last few weeks, Meow Wolf officials have had “positive discussions with union representatives, made good progress and know both parties want to resolve this as soon as possible,” according to a Meow Wolf spokesperson.

“It was handled much faster this time and it felt more collaborative,” Padilla said. “I know the employees and everybody are really, really happy with the decision Meow Wolf has made.”

Full disclosure: The Communications Workers of America is the same umbrella organization that supports the Denver Newspaper Guild, which represents certain Denver Post hourly employees.

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