Museums and their workers are dealing with what it means to close indefinitely, emotionally, but also financially. The Tenement Museum Union (TMU) has launched its Hardship Fund to support Tenement Museum employees who are out of work. It should be known that the Tenement Museum has laid off 13 people (20% of the museum’s staff) since closing to the public on March 14. Both full and part-time employees considered non-essential (which is most Tenement Museum employees) are not being paid. While the museum is running a $250,000 online fundraising campaign, which is essential to keep it operating, there has been no mention of employee hardship. The Tenement Museum would not be the success it is without its employees, particularly the front-facing staff who are left most financially vulnerable at this time.
On Instagram, the Tenement Museum posted,
Last Saturday we, several members of the Bargaining Committee, announced our Mutual Aid In Hardship Fund and we are pleased to now be able to accept outside donations through GoFundMe. While the Tenement Museum is fundraising $250,000 for their expenses, we believe it is important to support employees who are out of work. While we are beginning with supporting employees in the Unit, we hope to be able to extend aid to all Tenement Museum employees, once we reach $5,000.
Please support the Tenement Museum Union Hardship Fund if you are able. Marabou hopes to see similar worker organizing, unionized or not, because it is the workers who will help each other; they cannot depend on their institutions for support.