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Moog Music workers are unionising to fight for fair pay

The synth maker has confirmed it will not interfere with union action of its employees

  • Words: Aneesa Ahmed | Photo: Moog Music Union/Twitter
  • 6 June 2022
Moog Music workers are unionising to fight for fair pay

Moog Music staff members are unionising through the International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to fight for better pay and better employment stability.

The Moog Music Union announced a series of demands on social media last week, which includes livable wages, just-cause employment protections and better transparency between Moog executives and workers.

In a press release, Moog workers said the company has not given them a "stable livable environment". CEO Michael Adams sold 49% of the company to its employees in 2015.

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They also say that "despite being an internationally recognised synthesiser company building high-end consumer electronics, the company pays far less than a living wage."

Assemblers, packers, and warehouse employees at Moog earn a starting hourly salary of $14.10/hour. Asheville's living wage is $17.70/hour, the highest in the state.

They also want to create a precedent by unionising a southern US industrial site. With only 2.6% of workers organised, North Carolina is the second least unionised state in the country.

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The union also held a protest at the car park of Moog Music in Asheville, North Carolina, on June 1 . Here, workers and those supporting them turned up wearing red in solidarity and held up placards reading "Synthesize Unions", "Stronger Together" and "Solidarity Forever".

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Alongside the protest, BEW Local 238 hosted a Solidarity Picnic on Saturday, June 4.

Since the organisation of workers, Moog Music has responded to its staff members unionising. The company sent a response to MusicTech through a representative.

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The statement, in part, reads: “Moog Music Inc. is aware of the unionization campaign launched by the IBEW 238 and a group of Moog Music staff members.

“We respect that our employee-owners have the right to join a union, and we will not do anything to interfere with their right to do so.

“We have engaged outside resources to help ensure our company navigates the aforementioned union efforts legally and with proper guidance. While we don’t believe a union is in the best interests of our employee-owners, we will ensure that everyone at the factory has access to accurate information about unions and what a union would mean at Moog so that our employees may make their own informed decisions.

“Working together, we are committed to building an even stronger Moog so that all employee-owners know their voices are heard, their needs are met, and they can take pride in the quality instruments they design, build, package, ship, and service for our customers.”

Update 08/06/2022 - in a comment given to Mixmag, the Moog Music Union said: "Everyone involved in the organizing effort loves Moog; this is why we feel compelled in the fight to make it better and more support for those involved in its operation.

"We believe in honouring the legacy of Bob Moog and hope to continue to build instruments which share his spirit with the world. We want musicians, artists, and people that love Moog to continue to love Moog. We want to work towards a living wage for our people."

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Since the union's initial social media post, the union has confirmed to Mixmag that they: "are in the process of presenting employees with the option of signing union authorization cards.

"If less than 70% of the workers allowed in the bargaining unit elect to sign cards, then the effort will then conclude without Unionization."

Read the full response from Moog on MusicTech here. Find out more about the Moog Music Union on their website here.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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