Architectural workers at Snøhetta, the Norway-founded firm, announced on Tuesday their attempt to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers by filing a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for an election, which, if successful, would make them only the second architecture firm to unionize in the United States.
With headquarters in Oslo, Snøhetta’s name comes from the mountain of the same name in their home country; fittingly, the firm has designed hiking cabins, and their work is particularly focused on the outdoors. According to Curbed, which was the first to report on the news, the staff is already unionized in Norway, and hope to use this action to continue helping “transforming the industry over time” via their about 90 employees between New York and San Francisco. (The firm overall reports 350 globally.) In a statement, Snøhetta said, “Snøhetta in the U.S. supports our employees’ right to seek self-determination. 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.”
After a failed unionization attempt occurred at SHoP Architects in 2021, New York firm Bernheimer Architects announced last year that they were being voluntarily recognized, making them the first private sector firm to successfully do so in the United States. “When we started talking about a union, the word was so, so taboo,” Jennifer Siqueira, who previously worked at SHoP and left to join Bernheimer, told Dwell last year. “But since then the conversation has totally shifted.”
Top photo of Snøhetta’s Tungestølen Cabin by Emma Dries.
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