Even as the black-tie set heads to MoMA this evening for its annual Party in the Garden (honoring Richard Serra and Kara Walker), its own workers will be protesting outside in a separate action, dubbed Party Outside the Garden.
“There is somewhat of a venerable tradition here at MoMA of our union being on the streets,” said Danny Fermon of Local 2110, the division of the United Auto Workers that represents MoMA’s white-collar workers, including curatorial, accounting, development, library, lobby, and book store workers. “For 15 years we’ve had labor peace. This is not labor strife yet. I do think they are willing to work with us, and we with them. This is expressing our collective outrage at what we have on the table.”
Current contract negotiations, which began in May, have come to a head in particular around healthcare issues. A press release from the union emphasizes that the “Museum has proposed to substantially increase the amount workers must pay towards healthcare premiums for family coverage and impose new costs for maintenance of individual coverage.”
Those at home can follow along at @MoMA_Local2110 or on Instagram at @MOMALOCAL2110. Below is the press release:
UPDATE: In an email to artnet News, the Museum of Modern Art issued the following comment on the ongoing negotiations with its staff union:
Statement from The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art has an outstanding staff. At this time, we are in the process of negotiations with Local 2110, and are optimistic that we will reach a positive outcome for the staff and all concerned.
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