(CNN) - Maine Gov. Paul LePage ordered a 36-foot mural depicting the state's labor history be removed from the lobby of the Department of Labor headquarters building in Augusta, Maine, according to LePage's office.
The plan put forth by the Republican's administration also includes renaming several department conference rooms that carry names of pro-labor icons.
LePage press secretary Adrienne Bennett said discussions about the mural began months ago. After they received phone calls in opposition to the mural, his administration concluded the art showed favoritism toward a certain group.
"We understand the value of history and respect the artist, we are now exploring options of where it can go," Bennett said. "We want to find the appropriate place for it. We want to find it a home."
Bennett said the Maine Arts Commission will help find a suitable place for the art.
The 11-panel mural depicts labor scenes including a cobbler and a textile worker, and pro-labor organizations have used the action to criticize the governor.
A statement from the Maine AFL-CIO said removing the mural is an "insult to working men and women" and is another example of how LePage is putting politics before people.
"No matter what you name a room, no matter how many pictures you take down, the truth is that this state was built by and for working people and this move dishonors the generations of hard working Mainers who came before us," the statement said. "Paul LePage cannot erase our history, and he will not silence the voice of working people in Maine."
LePage, a first-term governor, was elected with 38 percent of the vote and Tea Party support in the November elections, defeating independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat Libby Mitchell.
Laura Boyett, the acting commissioner for the Maine Department of Labor, in a letter to her employees, said the department received feedback that the building is "not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers," and is therefore removing the mural and renaming all of the conference rooms.
"If either of our two constituencies perceives that they are not welcome in our administration building and this translates to a belief that their needs will not be heard or met by this department, then it presents a barrier to achieving our mission," Boyett wrote.
- CNN's Nina Raja contributed to this report