Arts Collective-Labor Union

In this July 14, 2017 file photo visitors explore Meow Wolf’s mazelike exhibition space in Santa Fe, NM.

SANTA FE, N.M. — Workers at a popular immersive arts entertainment project have approved the formation of a labor union under the Communications Workers of America umbrella.

Meow Wolf employee Michael Wolf said Tuesday that the move to unionize was approved by a majority of 130 eligible, rank-and-file employees by electronic balloting. He said the union bargaining unit, Meow Wolf Workers Collective, aims to negotiate a labor contract with company management within a year.

Born of a rag-tag arts collective, Meow Wolf coined a new brand of family entertainment with its “House of Eternal Return” exhibition in Santa Fe — idled by a statewide pandemic health order — that has doubled as an educational workshop for children and nightlife music venue. The central exhibit provides eye-popping psychedelic design work in a walk- and crawl-through exhibit of spiral stairs and unmarked passageways, organized loosely around a riddle involving an abandoned Victorian home.

Wilson said the vote to unionize gives workers at a rapidly evolving startup company new assurances of stability in turbulent economic times.

“Starting today we are covered by labor laws for unions, which means we have a strong voice in terms of management and human resources,” said Wilson, a senior story editor. “It means that, as of today, workers are protected.”

Meow Wolf currently employs about 270 people after laying off more than 200 employees in April as the Coronavirus rippled through the economy and a state health order shut down group entertainment venues.

Meow Wolf executives sounded a conciliatory note on unionization in a statement.

“Meow Wolf appreciates the varying points of view brought forward from the different perspectives within the bargaining unit and looks forward to working together ... on policies and practices that will continue to ensure Meow Wolf is a great place to work,” the company announced.

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