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Snøhetta architects make a bid to unionize the firm's New York studio


Snøhetta architects make a bid to unionize the firm's New York studio

It is the third private-sector architecture firm in the U.S. to seek unionization.

By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 19, 2023
Snøhetta architects make a bid to unionize the firm's New York studio
Snøhetta is collaborating with the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the New York Public Library (NYPL) to design a new 12,000-sf branch library in the Westchester Square neighborhood of the Bronx. Rendering: Snøhetta

Employees at the New York office of architecture firm Snøhetta have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unionize the studio.

Snøhetta employees’ action marks the third time architects at a private-sector architecture studio in the U.S. took that step. Designers at SHoP Architects in New York moved to unionize in December 2021, later dropping that bid. Employees at Brooklyn-based Bernheimer Architecture joined the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers last fall, making the firm the first unionized private-sector architecture studio in the U.S.

Snøhetta has union architects in Norway, where it is based, according to published reports.

“We look forward to working with this group to better understand what joining a union might mean for the firm, our culture, our business, and our entire team,” reads a statement from Snøhetta management. “We have been told that their focus is on addressing industry-wide issues rather than challenges specifically within our studio.”

After the petition is verified, members of the company will campaign for and against the movement, and then vote. A majority of workers must vote in favor of a union for the union to be certified by the National Labor Relations Board as their representative for collective bargaining.

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