Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PHILA MUSEUM EXHIBITS INDIFFERENCE

CEO Harrity Displays Similar Show As Last Year But There Is New Reason To Be Hopeful-

Philadelphia, PA- A delegation of security guards and supporters were turned away from the staff entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art without achieving their goal: delivering a letter to the office of CEO, Gail Harrity.

The delegation included security guards Cecelia Lynch, Juanita Love and Thomas Robinson and supporters; Paul Dannenfelser (President of AFSCME Local 2187), Lance Geren, Esq.(Freedman and Lorry), Fabricio Rodriguez and Eduardo Soriano (Jobs with Justice) and members from the Students for Democratic Society (Robin Markle and Jeff Rousset) and the Student Labor Action Project (Kate Harkins and Amanda Ahlesmeyer).

The small group arrived at the Perelman Annex of the museum at 8:50 a.m. and spoke with the AlliedBarton security guard at the front desk. They were quickly referred to the captain of daytime security.
The captain took the group’s request into Perelman Annex, but returned to announce that Ms. Gail Harrity had left for a meeting a few weeks prior. He offered to accept the letter on her behalf.
“We decided that it was not acceptable to leave the letter with the security captain since the letter concerned the company that he worked for. There were dozens and dozens of people working in the building. We figured that some one could take a minute and accept our letter,” stated Fabricio Rodriguez, Executive Director of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice.

The captain returned into the annex to speak with personnel from the office of Robin Procter, Director of Human Resources. He returned a few minutes later with new instructions from Procter’s office.

“I was ordered to not accept your letter and to tell you to set up an appointment,” said the captain.

The group, which has been requesting a meeting since December 2007, departed a few minutes later.

“We expected to be treated this way,” says Thomas Robinson, Chairman of the Philadelphia Security Officer’s Union.

“Since we expected to be ignored again, another group of Jobs with Justice activists in Cleveland had agreed to make an appearance at Timothy Rub’s office in Cleveland,” states Robinson.

Mr. Rub, the incoming director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and current CEO of the Cleveland Museum of art, oversees a unionized security work force at his institution and will take charge of the Philadelphia museum on September 1st.

At approximately the same time this morning, Debbie Kline and Elizabeth Pangrace of Cleveland Jobs with Justice met with Mr. Rub’s secretary, who assured the activists that the letter would be handed to him as soon as he got out of his meeting.


The Philadelphia activists are committed to reaching out to Mr. Rub, and are hopeful about the possibility of new labor relations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art upon his arrival.

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