Staff from the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, located in Lower Manhattan, held a solidarity demonstration on June 10, in support of the unionization effort currently stalled by Museum management.
The demonstration was timed for when audience members arrived for an indoor concert by Sharabi, a Bhangra-Funk-Klezmer fusion group.
The workers brought their own instruments, including kazoos and maracas to make the protest more entertaining. Sarah Gordon, the band’s singer, came out to greet the workers and offer support.
In June 2020, 40% of Museum of Jewish Heritage staff were laid off, and remaining workers believed it was time to unionize. Issues include job security, inequality in pay and promotion, safety issues, and other provisions to ensure their dignity as workers.
Museum staffers won a union election with DC 37 last December. However, efforts to finalize a union contract have been slowed because Museum management have added proposals that include reducing current sick time, annual leave, and time off for religious observances.
The workers demand a fair first contract, with no givebacks.
Members from unions representing Museum of Jewish Heritage engineers and cleaning staff joined the demonstration, along with workers from the Battery Park City Authority, who are also currently unionizing with DC 37.
The union is organizing multiple workplaces in the non-profit sector to help workers get dignity, justice, and a fair contract.
An additional demonstration will be held at the Museum this Thursday. For more information to attend: https://mjhnyc.org/events/music-of-the-jewish-diaspora-the-beary-brothers-featuring-psoy-korolenko-zisl-slepovitch-and-ilya-shneyveys/