Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guards Ask Timothy Rub For Dialogue Through Video Message

Video Message To Incoming Museum Director Highlights Worker Hardships And Hopes

Philadelphia, PA- A video being premiered August 26 is part documentary and partly a direct message to Timothy Rub, the incoming director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It also addresses the national debate about the Employee Free Choice Act.

The video entitled, “Welcoming Change: A Message To Timothy Rub”, features the voice of four security guards who are a part of a campaign to win workplace reforms at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The interviews in "Welcoming Change" were filmed in parts of Southwest, North and West Philadelphia. “They are stories of hope," says David Randle, the director. " I was impressed by that even though they earn such low wages.”

David Randle made his film as a member of the Media Mobilizing Project, a community group that makes films about community activism.

Worker and activist Donald Lindsay, talking about what we would like to say to the incoming director, says “We would get to talking about what his goals are and what our goals are.”

"Welcoming Change" also has its sad moments. Moments that remind the viewer that poverty exists even among the opulence of the museum.

“It’s a sin in this country, that you work 40 hours a week and can never get your head above water. You should be able to pay your bills…without borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,” says Juanita Love in one of the video's sadder moments.

The security guards are trying to improve their wages from the current $10.03 per hour (or less for non-AlliedBarton guards) to $13.48 per hour.

The video ends with a call to support the guards at the museum and the Employee Free Choice Act, a piece of legislation that would allow these guards at the museum to automatically be recognized as a union after a majority of workers had signed up for that option.

The documentary "Welcoming Change" will be screened at the Media Mobilizing Project office, 4205 Chestnut St, on August 26 at 6:30 pm, or can be watched online at www.phillyjwj.org starting August 26 at 9:00 am.

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