Justice for Boston Children’s Museum workers! — Urgent solidarity appeal

Published On December 16, 2006 | By Socialist Alternative | Labor Movement, Socialist Alternative In Action

The Boston Children’s Museum (BCM) is widely known for its commitment to the children of Boston. But this Christmas, the president of the museum, Lou Casagrande, is acting like a big Grinch to workers at the museum.

The workers at the Children’s Museum play a big role. They teach school programmes, interact with the visitors, assist visitors in the exhibits, and make the museum a clean and friendly place. They are highly valued by the visitors and the educators.

More than 15 BCM employees – mostly part-time, low-wage workers – were told on 2 December their jobs would be terminated shortly after the holiday when the museum closes for renovations. Further, despite their experience at the museum, they were told they would not be guaranteed employment when the museum reopens.

The museum will be shutting down for several months to allow construction on a multi-million dollar expansion. The workers were well aware that the shut down would occur. But they were told over the summer they would be able to get jobs doing outreach, while the museum was closed and that they would be able to resume their old jobs when the museum reopened.

The workers were completely misled. As recently as November, Charlayne Murrel-Smith, a spokesperson for the museum, told ‘Harbor Happenings’ that the shutdown would have a “minimal impact” on employees. This turned out to be totally false.

The BCM is offering the workers a $400 severance package, as long as they show up every day they are scheduled until close. But many workers, especially those with years of service to the museum, feel they are being severely short-changed at a time when incomes are being stretched to pay for gifts and bills.

BCM workers were devastated by the news of their job termination and are angry about how they were misled by management. These workers are not willing to just sit back and let the BCM ruin their holiday. With your help putting pressure on the BCM, these workers can keep their jobs and continue to work to make the Children’s Museum a great experience for children and families.

Tell BCM President Lou Casagrande – “Don’t Be a Grinch!”
Make calls, send emails to protest !

Please, lend your support to these workers, and support their demands:

  • That the museum employ these workers for the duration of the renovations in community outreach programmes to promote the re-opening of the museum, as they had been previously promised.

  • That all workers are automatically rehired in their current positions when the museum reopens.

  • If the museum refuses to provide employment for the workers during the renovations, the museum should pay a fair and decent severance package, more than a one-time payment of $400 to help workers after the closure. Workers are asking for $400 a month until the reopening.


Please make a phone call or send an email today and register a protest with management at the Boston Children’s Museum. Tell them, “Don’t be a Grinch!”

Make phone calls to:

  • Lou Casagrande
    President
    617-426-6500 x321
  • John Riordan
    Vice President of Visitor Center
    617-426-6500 x469


Send protest emails to info@bostonchildrensmuseum.org
Please send copies of emails to bcmworkers@yahoo.com

Here’s a sample email.

To whom it may concern,

I recently learned that more than 15 workers at the Boston Children’s Museum were terminated because of impending construction at the museum. These workers were told over the summer that they would get their jobs back when the construction was complete and that they would be employed in community outreach programs while the museum was being renovated. But in December they were told that their jobs were being terminated, and that they would have to re-apply for their old positions when the museum reopens, with no employment in the meantime and no guarantees they will get their jobs back.

Shame on you! These workers are a valued part of the Children’s Museum experience!

I support the workers’ demands, that

  • the museum employ these workers for the duration of the renovations in community outreach programmes to promote the re-opening of the museum, as they had been previously promised;

  • all workers are automatically rehired in their current positions when the museum reopens; and

  • if the museum refuses to provide employment for the workers during the renovations, the museum should pay a fair and decent severance package, more than a one-time payment of $400 to help workers after the closure. Workers are asking for $400 a month until the reopening.


Sincerely,
[Your name, city, position]

Like this Article? Share it!