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On Wednesday, a truck loaded with digital screens parked in front of the Guggenheim Museum in New York and blasted Fifth Avenue with Led Zepplin’s 1970s hit “Kashmir.” The truck belonged to IUOE Local 30, the union representing art handlers and facilities staff at the Guggenheim, who staged a protest outside the museum during its members-only re-opening.
“We Deserve a Better Guggenheim,” read one of the messages on the mobile screen. Others read “Fair Contract Now” and “#DoBetterGuggenehim,” in addition to news clips and facts about the union’s year-long negotiations with the museum, which have yet to culminate in a collective bargaining contract.
“The museum fought the workers’ union from the very beginning of this campaign and continues to fight them,” Andres Puerta, a representative of Local 30, told Hyperallergic. “It’s a failure of the Guggenheim’s administration that they haven’t been able to reach an agreement with their workers.”
Last week, an attorney representing the Guggenheim sent a letter to Local 30 asking the union to hold any future protests in a designated area on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 88th Street, down the street from the museum’s entrance. Local 30 dismissed the Guggenheim’s request and parked its protest truck defiantly in front of the museum’s entrance.