Marciano Art Foundation Workers Protest Mass Layoffs and Sudden Shuttering of the Museum

A group of about 50 visitor services associates gathered outside the Marciano Art Foundation at 10:30am on Friday, the same as they would on a regular workday in anticipation of clocking in. Today, however, they had assembled to protest the foundation’s recent announcement that it would be laying off all of its 70 associates and shuttering its doors to the public. These developments came only days after a group of employees made public their decision to unionize.

“We’re here because of the gross and illegal actions the Marcianos have taken in response to our fully legal, totally right and moral decision to unionize,” the floor lead and union organizer Spencer Longo told the assembled crowd of workers, union representatives, and supporters, all dressed in black despite the punishing Los Angeles sun. “Their response was to shut down the Marciano and lie to the public about why they’re doing it, hoping that everybody forgets about it when they try to reopen again in the future.” An official statement from the Marciano Foundation said “low attendance” was behind their decision.

Lylwyn Esangga, an organizing director at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), told Hyperallergic that they had three goals with today’s action: “one, to reinstate the workers; two, that the workers be recognized with the union; and three, that they have workplace protection.”

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