Architectural workers at SHoP in New York City have requested voluntary employer recognition of their union with IAM District 15.

The Union Organizing Committee at SHoP and the IAM recently sent a letter to SHoP partners requesting voluntary recognition. In addition, the union and the organizing committee asked to meet in person with SHoP partners to start a conversation around the challenges facing the architectural profession and how they can work together to begin making positive structural changes. The Union Organizing Committee at SHoP is motivated by a deep care for the SHoP firm and architecture as a profession.

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“Many of us feel pushed to the limits of our productivity and mental health,” reads the letter. “These conditions have become detrimental to our lives and in extension the lives of our families. These concerns are the product of larger systemic issues within the discipline of architecture and are in no way unique to SHoP. From the moment we begin studying architecture, we are taught that great design requires endless time and effort, and in turn demands the sacrifice of personal health and relationships. We are taught that architecture is a greater calling and regardless of how the client is willing to compensate us, we will perform our duty because it is critically important for the greater good.”

The Union Organizing Committee at SHoP is asking SHoP partners to remain neutral and formally recognize the union.

This will be the first union of private sector architecture workers in the United States since the 1940s.

Architectural Workers United is the campaign moniker under which a group of New York City based architectural workers from multiple firms (including SHoP) are attempting to organize unions. The campaign’s goal is to raise industry standards through collective bargaining rights, sector wide union density and political action.

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