CALGARY – The CUPE local 1645 executive issued the following statement in reaction to the layoff of 45 employees at the Glenbow Museum. The museum has now eliminated 80 per cent of unionized positions since closing in March. The layoffs will have a devastating impact on visitors and exhibits.
“It is a dark day for arts and culture in Alberta. In an historic move, the Glenbow Museum has eliminated 45 positions. Half of these employees have been with the museum more than ten years and represent vast institutional knowledge, expertise, and highly specialized skills.
All visitor servicer and coordinator positions have been terminated, along with exhibit, photography, and graphic design positions. Eighty-five per cent of the artifacts will now have no technicians or conservators to care for them. This move will impact visitors, researchers, donors, and most importantly BIPOC communities who have relied on access from front-end staff to their cultural patrimony held in permanent galleries and the collection.
We continue to work on behalf of our members, both those laid off and those continuing to work at the Glenbow Museum, by keeping lines of communication open with the employer in hopes that the immense talent of our members can be retained and recalled. Regular Zoom meetings have been, and will continue to be, held with the membership to ensure that employees are coping during this unprecedented time.”