Herrschaftsfreie Basisgewerkschaft – Österreichische Sektion der IAA

AGAINST THE EXPLOITATION TAKING PLACE AT THE VIENNA SECESSION

In ArbeiterInnenkämpfe Ö, Arbeitszeit, English, Kunst/ Kultur, Termine (vergangene) on 19. November 2021 at 03:53

DEMONSTRATION FRIDAY 11/19/21

lee este artículo en castellano/ dieser Artikel auf Deutsch

All the marginally employed of the sectoins cash desk/ guarding/ shop have unionized to stand up against the unbearable working conditions at the Vienna Secession. Since weeks the WAS (vienna workers syndicate) is negotiating with the museum’s CEOs, who now started to just ignore the employee’s demands. Therefore we’re now calling for a demonstration against the violation of worker’s rights in front of the Secession in Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna, at 6:30 PM during the secession’s latest exhibition opening.

Picture: Gryffindor, CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Vienna Secession, who makes around 4500 Euros with entry fees and shop sales on an average Saturday only, who’s being sponsored by one of the biggest credit institutes of Austria (Erste Bank), a page-long list of private sponsors and last but not least the Worker’s Chamber itself, finds it normal and necessary to withhold their employee’s wages.

Since the first lockdown in 2020 the marginally employed of the sections cash desk/ guarding/ shop have accumulated so called „negative hours“ every time they couldn’t show to work for the museum had to close due to corona measures.

After the entire yearly vacation entitlement plus all the employee’s overtime credit was consumed by the lockdown, they were asked to work up those hours that they had „missed“. Leading to months of 70 hours working time on average – for a payment of not even 450 Euros.

To be clear: There is no legal basis for „negative hours“, i.e. they’re illegal. Just as illegal as it is to consume an entire vacation entitlement for crisis or even letting your employees accumulate that much overtime without compensating it as money of freetime.

But all of this is – and has already been before the pandemic – a systemic issue. This illegal exploitation was justified with the purpose of „saving jobs“, but that’s not true as still colleagues lost their jobs plus „proper“ positions were replaced with more precarious marginally employed people. On top of that the section cash desk/ guarding/ shop are so notoriously understaffed that it is normal and necessary to call up on employees on vacation in case a colleague on sick leave needs to be replaced or to even make employees who are getting sick call up their colleagues to find their own replacement.

In other words: The Vienna Secession with said sources of income plus state support during the years of crisis didn’t only consider it a smart move to dump the consequences of the pandemic onto their weakest, most lucrative employees who are also most at risk of contracting covid. They considered it to be even smarter to then go on and sell all that as a favor. To their employees, to themselves, and to the public.

Die Secession hat es auf eine Münze geschafft – und ungefähr soviel sind ihnen die ArbeiterInnen wert. Picture: KarleHorn, CC BY 3.0.

The Secession’s slogan „To time their art/ To art their freedom“, considering the amounts of lifetime this institution has stolen their employees, is sheer cynisism. The curatorial profile, just like the „Moria“ banner placed above the secession’s entrance in May 2020 is literal facade.

The Secession, profiling itself through it’s own founding history, inscenating itself against the bourgeoisie and conservatism, has just betrayed every ideal that the pieces on display should stand for – or against.

Being a hierarchy-free union we consider these conditions to be unacceptable. Especially as at this point of negotiation, the Secession is just playing ignorant and doesn’t even want to pay their workers the bare minimum of their entitlement.

Our first protest will take place during the secession’s latest exhibition opening. There will be art scene VIPs plus it will be the first exhibition under the secession’s new steering committee. Let’s show the art world that the exploitation of the weekest will not be easily accepted, especially as not even the bare minimum working standard is being achieved. We ask all class-conscious workers to join us in this labor fight!

There’s also the option of personally speaking to the manager in case of further questions. They can be reached during the opening hours Monday to Friday 10-17.

An attack on one is an attack to all!

Dieser Artikel wurde am 19.11.2021 am WAS-Blog veröffentlicht. Kopieren mit Quellverweis möglich.

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