PSOU supporters literally stopped the Art After 5 show inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. ...Photos by Jesse W. Brown, Jr.
From the Philadelphia Daily News, Saturday, March 6, 2010:
Protesters gather[ed] outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art about 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5, to call attention to what they say is unfair treatment of art museum guards. The protest was timed to coincide with the museum's popular "Art After 5" program, which drew hundreds of attendees who were in the Great Hall awaiting the start of a program billed as "Japan Night." A banner carried by the protesters asked "What Would Picasso Say?", alluding to the big Picasso exhibit that opened recently and to Picasso's political stands for social justice. A flier passed out by the demonstrators said: "Museum security guards, who guard some of the most valuable art in the world, are calling for job security, respect, family sustaining wages and higher security standards. The Museum and Allied Barton Security Services are going as far as breaking federal law to stop them." The flier encouraged people to contact the museum and ask the museum to play a role in improving conditions for security officers. The guards work for AlliedBarton Security, and the demonstrators want the museum to use its influence to help the guards gain concessions [a first contract -JwJ] from AlliedBarton.
PSOU supporters included activists from UNITE HERE, PASNAP, AFT, AFSCME, AFGE, Temple SLAP, Swarthmore labor activists, Solidarity, SDS, and IWW, among others. Photo by Dave Garrett Sarrafian
Philly Jobs with Justice Executive Director, Gwen Snyder, among the supporters of the PSOU at the museum on Friday. She spoke about how the campaign for a contract is a struggle for jobs with justice. Photo by Jesse W. Brown, Jr.
From KYW Newsradio, Saturday, March 6, 2010:
Union Supporters Rally Outside Phila. Museum of Artby KYW’s Jim Melwert
Supporters of unionized labor rallied outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art Friday afternoon to protest what they call unfair labor practices by the company that runs the museum's security.
Security workers at the museum voted to unionize but now labor leaders say management of Allied Barton is dragging its feet, and targeting union supporters, according to Philadelphia Security Officers Union lead coordinator, Fabricio Rodriguez:
"Not only union supporters but union leaders, so folks that hold elected office in their union, we've had two guys fired in the last two weeks, they're both shop stewards and leaders in the union."
Fabricio says both men had strong work records with no blemishes and they were fired without warning.
But AlliedBarton vice president David Buckman questions the election process, and says they've asked the National Labor Relations Board to review the process, as for claims of retribution:
"There's been no effort to discipline or terminate employees as a function of their union affiliation."