Confirmed victory
Petitioning MFA Trustees

Do Not Let Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts Ruin Their Workers’ Lives

Help us fight back.  Please sign our petition to Malcolm Rogers, Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and demand that he and the Museum management:

“DO NOT OUTSOURCE YOUR MUSEUM GUARDS!”

Letter to
MFA Trustees
Do Not Let Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts Ruin Their Workers’ Lives

I can hardly bear to enter the Boston Museum of Fine Arts any more. Not because of the great artworks they display, but because of the abysmal way they treat their workers who love those treasures. I worked there for almost twenty years, so I know, but this year they have reached an all-time low.

One month ago, when their Unionized low wage security workers sat down at the bargaining table to negotiate a new contract, they found out they soon may be out on the street. The Museum was seriously considering outsourcing their jobs, they were told. These are people who barely get by from week to week on the poor pay they get from the Museum. And this was not because of economic conditions (the Museum had just finished a 500 million dollar new wing) or because they had done a bad job, they were told. No, this was because it was easier. Yes, because it was easier to subcontract out to a firm, which had no feeling or knowledge or love for the Museum and its patrons, and to forget about their own workers.

When I came to the Museum many years ago, I expected an enlightened employer with a vision to match the artwork. Instead I found working conditions so bad that it forced us to unionize. The MFA guards represent the only diverse staff in the whole Museum with people from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and many who are artists, poets, writers and musicians. We all feel that the Museum should represent the best, not the worst in the treatment of their workers.

“I feel awful. It’s a disgrace to the Museum. This is peoples’ lives here”, says Brenda Lee, a guard of 31 years at the Museum. A single mother cannot survive”, says Anna Ayala, a guard of 13 years at the MFA. Guard Dave Skirkey puts it this way, “Our collection deserves Guards who understand and care about our wonderful world class collection. I have been working at the Museum for over 30 years and I can assure you that we do! I am beyond sad that my years of dedicated service may be rewarded by a brusque kick out the door and replacement by a rent-a-cop.” “Our jobs should not be taken away from us. We will fight back”, says Carlos Oviedo, who has worked 12 years at the Museum.

Thank you!

Michael Raysson and MISU