What We're Reading: The Whitney’s Union and Supporters Protested Outside the Museum’s Annual Gala Following a ‘Lowballed’ Wage Offer
"Events at the Whitney Museum of American Art this year have featured a consistent new guest: the museum’s union. Last night, at the museum’s annual gala and Studio Party, about 50 people turned out, standing on the curb with signs bearing such slogans as 'LIVING ARTISTS LIVING WAGES,' 'HONK FOR A FAIR CONTRACT,' and 'WHITNEY WORKERS WANT FAIR WAGES' and banging on drums as guests filed into the museum’s lobby for a luxe dinner," said artnet news. "Compared to the demonstration that followed the opening of the Whitney Biennial, it was a clear increase in participation, plausibly stemming from a wage offer on April 19 that fell far below the union’s proposal."
"According to a release that the union sent out, the Whitney’s director, Adam Weinberg, brings in a yearly salary of just above $1.1 million, and 'the combined compensation for the fourteen highest-paid museum executives for the prior year totaled $4.5 million.' Signs on the street revealed that many employees, in contrast, earn $17 per hour, and claimed that they are unfairly kept as temporary employees, barring them from certain benefits—including union membership."