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(en) iwa-ait: AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION THAT TAKES PLACE IN THE VIENNA SECESSION MUSEUM (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 5 Jan 2022 10:53:49 +0200


All secondary employees in the cashier, surveillance and shop sectors have organized to oppose the unbearable working conditions at the Vienna Secession Museum. For weeks WAS (Vienna Workers' Union) has been negotiating with the museum's management, who have now started to ignore the demands of the employees. Therefore, we have called a rally against the violation of workers' rights in front of the Secession museum at Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna, during the opening of the last Secession exhibition. ---- The Vienna Secession Museum, which makes about 4,500 euros from tickets and store sales on a normal Saturday alone, which is sponsored by one of Austria's largest credit institutes (Erste Bank), a long list of private sponsors and last but not least, by the Chamber of Workers itself, considers it normal and necessary to withhold the wages of its employees.

Since the first quarantine in 2020, the secondary employees of the boxes, surveillance and store have accumulated the so-called "negative hours" every time they could not report to work because the museum had to close due to the measures for the coronavirus.

After the lockdown for the quarantine consumed the right to vacation for a whole year plus all the overtime of the employees, they were asked to work the hours they had "lost." Which meant months of 70 hours of work on average, in exchange for a salary that did not reach 450 euros.

To be clear: there is no legal basis for "negative hours", that is, they are illegal. As illegal as consuming the right to vacation for a whole year due to a crisis or even letting your employees accumulate so much overtime, without compensating them financially or in free time.

But all of this is, and was before the pandemic, a systemic problem. This illegal exploitation was justified with the excuse of "saving jobs", something that is not true, since even so there were colleagues who lost their jobs and also a full-time position was replaced by workers with more precarious contracts. In addition, there is such a noticeable shortage of staff in the cashier, surveillance and store jobs that it is common and necessary to call employees who are on vacation in case a colleague on sick leave has to be replaced, or even have employees who become ill call their colleagues to find their own replacement.

In other words: the Vienna Secession Museum, with these sources of income plus the support of the State during the years of the health crisis, not only considered it smart to burden the consequences of the pandemic on its weakest and most profitable employees, who are Those who are most at risk of being infected also considered it smart to start selling all this as a favor, with their employees, with themselves and with the public.

The Secession museum has managed to appear on a 50 cent coin, that's what workers are worth to them.

The motto of the Secession: "Der Zeit ihre Kunst / Der Kunst ihre Freiheit" (At the time its art / To art its freedom) is pure cynicism in view of the months of life that this institution has stolen from its employees. The imposing profile of the building, which since May 2020 more closely resembles the entrance to Moria, is literally a façade.

The Secession, which likes to turn to its history to show itself as an alternative and contrary to the bourgeoisie and conservatism, has betrayed everything that its exhibitions are supposed to represent, in addition to confirming the cliché that this type of art only interests to the rich.

For us, as a union without hierarchies and horizontal, we are clear that these conditions are unacceptable. Even more so because the Secession has been stubborn up to now and does not want to admit the demands of the secondary workers.

Our first rally in front of the Vienna Secession takes place during the opening of the new exhibition. Many important people from art and culture will be in attendance, and it is the first exhibition to open under the new board of directors. We do not accept the continuous exploitation of the weakest by the art market, especially when even the minimum legal standards are not respected. We call on all class-conscious workers to support us.

There is also the possibility of protesting by phone against exploitation in the Secession, from Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00.

If they touch one of us, they touch us all!

https://iwa-ait.org/node/999
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