Statement from the President of Local 1503, March 19, 2020:
Brothers and Sisters,
By now all of you have read the Met leadership’s statements about closure, potential layoffs, furlough and buyouts.
In this time of unprecedented crisis the union will do as it always does: We will defend your jobs, your benefits, and above all, your human dignity.
The Museum must think very carefully about how it treats the people who have made the commitment to make it an inspiration to the world. Rhetoric about diversity, equality, and the civilizing role of the institution in society now face a hard reality check.
For employees who would be cast out at this moment, the stakes couldn’t be greater. The loss of health insurance, housing, and sustenance could easily lead to personal ruin and even worse, not only for the employees, but for the families and communities who depend on them.
In the current crisis, we will challenge the leadership of the Museum to rise to a place of high esteem, to stand as an inspiration to others, to look beyond the short-term and the expedient.
We will get through this crisis by looking out for each other, realizing that our lives are all connected.
I will keep you updated on www.local1503.org as we move forward.