The TAL Unionization Working Group (UWG) is an advocacy, support, and study group whose mission is to promote labor organizing for workers in architecture and related fields. While not ourselves a union, our members have played leading roles in the movement to organize architecture and designer workers since TAL’s inception. As our movement grows, we continue to act as a portal for those seeking advice and support to workers interested in learning more about organizing their workplace.

We consider unionization to be the strongest way to push back against the means increasing immiseration of work in our professions. If you wish to learn more about what we do or about organizing your workplace please click below, or contact us at architecturelobby@gmail.com. All inquiries will be kept anonymous.

What is a union?

A union is a body of workers who collectively bargain with employers over the conditions of their employment. This means that workers are the union, and that anything they bargain for is set forth collectively and agreed upon democratically.

body of workers → At least 3 employee.

collectively bargain → Virtually anything concerning our hours, compensation, and workplace conditions.

conditions → Negotiate directly with management through representatives of the collective.

What is unionization?

Fighting against unfair labor practices, abusive working conditions and employment practices that do not recognize the worker as a whole person. 

Despite being considered an elite profession architects are undervalued, undercompensated and often overworked. Graduates from arch programs are faced with similar challenges and vulnerabilities as workers in other industries – student debt, at-will employment, lack of social safety nets, inadequate health care, financial instability. 

Benefits of unionization for individuals: 

  • Both union and non-union workers gain the right to negotiate wages, with leverage.
  • Better health & retirement benefits.
  • Control over work arrangements.
  • A say in how your time is spent.
  • Better access to the profession.
  • Right to have a say in management.
  • Protection from “right-to-work” threats of unemployment.

Benefits of unionization for the industry:

  • More equitable pay and working conditions for architectural workers.
  • Through legislation, leverage union labor for publicly funded projects.
  • Better work is done by professionals who aren’t hurtling into suicide by overwork.
  • Unions can grow overall compensation at firms and across the industry (yes, more money for bosses).
  • A union of architectural workers could level the playing field and lower barriers to entry by combatting counterproductive competition and fee reduction.
  • Unionization enables architectural workers to better align with workers in other industries and build solidarity across the labor movement.


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    Member Mobilization

    Our Member Mobilization form allows members to anonymously acknowledge our individual capacities and inclinations towards collective action. We review and reflect on our collective strengths and boundaries to inform and direct the statements we make, education we offer, resources we compile, and the actions we endorse. This form is encrypted and password protected. Members should […]