Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 12: Art Museum Guards Union Goes to City Hall

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On Monday, April 5, PSOU staff and guards lobbied City Council demanding that the $2.3 million dollars allocated to the Museum only be awarded to the Museum when workers have a voice.  Within hours museum director Timothy Rub sent a letter to Councilman Greenlee saying that he "urges AlliedBarton to respect the wishes of the majority of security officers and bargain in good faith."

This is the first time that the Museum has come off the neutrality fence in support of guards.  However, a letter alone does not give workers a voice: the Museum has to come out publicly and workers must have a say before we stop fighting for justice!

The Museum hopes that a letter will appease City Council so it can get through the budget process scot-free.  We need to show City Council that, as Philadelphia residents and taxpayers, we want real accountability.  Stand with security guards at City Hall as Councilman Greenlee takes the lead on workers rights and security standards next Monday, April 12.

President of art museum backs security guards' union

Friday, April 9th, 2010
The president of the Philadelphia Museum of Art has indicated his support for a security guard labor union at his institution.

Most of the 130 security guards voted themselves into a union last year. But so far they have not been recognized by their employer, Allied Barton, which contracts with the Museum. When the Museum's new director, Timothy Rub, took office last year, he refused to endorse either side.

But in a letter to City Councilman Bill Greenlee, Rub urged Allied Barton to listen to the security guards' requests.

Union spokesman Fabricio Rodriguez says Rub's support means a lot: “The letter from Director Rub was an enormous development. We're glad Rub has joined the majority at the museum, councilman Greenlee, and the National Labor Relations Board in calling on Allied Barton to recognize union and improving museum security.”

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Allied Barton must negotiate with the union. The company has appealed.

The guards are fighting for higher pay and better working conditions. They also say they need more emergency training to help safeguard the museum's visitors and masterpieces.

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