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Workers at Picasso Museum in Málaga Threaten Strike Over Unequal Wages and Conditions

Struggle for Equality: Workers’ Call for Change

The Picasso Museum in Málaga, Spain, faces a new challenge as its workers prepare to stage a strike in protest against perceived unequal wages and working conditions. This move comes after two previous strikes within the past year, underscoring the persisting grievances that employees assert are not adequately addressed by the institution.

Aiming for Impact: Strike During Significant Exhibition

A group of workers from the museum has announced their intent to carry out a five-day strike in September, coinciding with the installation of “The Echo of Picasso,” a significant exhibition exploring the artist’s enduring influence on other creators over the years. The exhibition, scheduled to open in October, is part of a global series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s passing.

The Echo of Picasso | Museo Picasso Málaga
The Echo of Picasso | Museo Picasso Málaga. Courtesy: museopicassomalaga

Picasso’s Birthplace Amplifies Attention

The Picasso Museum in Málaga, being situated in the birthplace of the iconic artist, holds a unique position in the artistic landscape. Consequently, the proposed strike action is likely to draw heightened attention, potentially making its impact resonate more strongly than similar actions taken at other Picasso collections worldwide.

Musée Picasso - Wikipedia
Musée Picasso. Courtesy: Wikipedia

The Striking Timeline: Unveiling Concerns

Scheduled from September 18 to 22, the strike may extend beyond these dates should the workers’ demands remain unmet. The employees’ committee emphasizes their concerns, including discrepancies in wages and work conditions compared to other Spanish art institutions. Among the improvements they seek are modifications to the workday structure, flexible hours, a healthier work-life balance, and a greater sense of belonging within the institution.

A Wage Disparity Unearthed

An internal survey conducted by the workers’ committee reveals a stark contrast between the Picasso Museum Málaga and ten other Spanish museums, such as the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga. According to their findings, the wages offered by the Picasso Museum Málaga are considerably lower, further fueling the workers’ resolve to press for change.

Institution’s Response and Recent Protests

While the workers prepare for their upcoming strike, the Picasso Museum maintains its focus on celebrating its 20th anniversary. The institution’s stance against the strike is clear, indicating a potential clash between management and employees.

This summer has witnessed a series of protests by the workers, highlighting their determination to bring attention to their concerns. In May, a three-hour strike forced a temporary closure of a Picasso sculpture survey, with protesters outside donning masks reminiscent of figures from the artist’s renowned paintings. In June, strikes coincided with the arrival of cruise ships, further signaling the workers’ commitment to their cause.

As tensions escalate and the looming strike threatens to disrupt museum operations, the Picasso Museum in Málaga stands at a pivotal juncture, grappling with the imperative to address the legitimate concerns of its workforce while maintaining its commitment to artistic excellence and commemorative events.

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