Workers’ Strike Closes Centre Pompidou in Paris for Fifth Consecutive Day

Workers are protesting a new law that could cause pay cuts of up to 20 percent for some.

The Centre Georges Pompidou celebrated its 40th anniversary on January 27, 2017 in Paris. Photo by Frederic Stevens/Getty Images.

Staff at the Centre Pompidou in Paris began their fifth consecutive day of striking today, officially closing the museum to the public for the entire week.

Workers first went on strike on Monday, in protest of a new law to be implemented on April 1. They have been negotiating with the Ministry of Culture all week.

The French Workers’ Force, Fource Ouvriere (FO), wrote that the law stipulates that new hires at the institution will be granted the status of civil servant, rather than contractual employee, the designation that has been standard until now, and is viewed as more favorable.

Under this new law, current employees could choose between keeping their contracts or becoming civil servants. In all, these changes could cause pay cuts of up to 20 percent for some workers.

According to Le Parisien, 100 administrative employees, reception staff, and security agents called for Pompidou workers to mobilize at Monday’s General Assembly.

It follows a strike that closed the museum on March 9, two days after employees first found out about the new law, on March 7.

Official numbers reported on Monday fell in the range of 60 to 100 strikers this week, while the FO’s count came in at between 300 and 400, out of a total of 1,038 employees at the center.

A message on the institution’s homepage reads:

“The Centre Pompidou will not be open to the public today. Due to a strike against the implementation of a law aiming to reform the recruitment process of employees, we regret to inform you that the Centre Pompidou will not be open to the public today. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The strike has prevented visitors from accessing exhibitions like the Cy Twombly retrospective, which closes on April 24; “Mutations-Créations/Printing the World,” an exhibition about the artistic applications of 3D printing; and Saâdane Afif’s “The Fountain Archives.”

This year, Centre Pompidou is celebrating 40 years since it first opened its doors to the public in 1977.

A fundraising gala dinner for 850 VIP guests—scheduled to take place this week to celebrate the institution’s anniversary—has also been rescheduled due to the strike.

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