Saturday, December 5, 2009

Museos on Strike at 1/5th of France's Museums

The strike at the Museum of Civilization and War in Ottowa has continued for 75 days. Workers would like to bring in a neutral third party to negotiate a settlement, but the museum's management has refused. If you live in Canada or are a Canadian citizen living abroad you can sign a petition to the the museum's CEO Victor Rabinovitch urging him to reconsider.

Museum workers across the Atlantic have also taken to the picket lines. Approximately one-fifth of French museums are currently closed do to strike action. These include popular tourist destinations like the Musee d'Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Georges Pompidou Center. Workers are striking over a plan to replace only half of the retiring museum workforce over the coming years. The plan is to reduce the overall number of civil servants and does not merely affect museum workers, but cuts in the cultural sector could have dramatic consequences. These will alter the quality of what the museums can offer and how well they can preserve their collections, but culture minister Frederic Mitterrand seems uninterested in negotiation.

English language information is mostly limited to what tourist spots are open or closed on any given day, but here are several links:

Strike Spreads in France Over Museum Staff Cuts - The New York Times

French museums closed by civil service strike - BBC

Paris Museum Strike Continues; Louvre, Versailles Close Doors - Bloomburg

France: Labor strike widens, shuts Louvre museum and Versailles
- L.A. Times

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