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The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo: CTG/SF.

LA MoCA Lays Off All Part-Time Staffers

In anticipation of a lengthy shutdown due to COVID-19, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, is laying off all of its part-time staffers. The Los Angeles Times reports that the museum began informing employees of its decision on Tuesday, March 24. While it hopes to rehire the workers once the institution reopens, management ultimately decided to let employees go who could not perform their jobs remotely so that they could file for unemployment and other benefits.

The layoffs come three months after the museum’s staff formed a union, which was voluntarily recognized by the museum. MoCA employed ninety-seven part-timers who worked as art handlers, installers, and gallery attendants, and who filled other roles in various departments, including retail and education. While the museum will pay the staffers through the end of the month, many of the affected individuals were surprised by the move. One worker, Judy Leroy, lamented a recent $10 million gift from MoCA board president Carolyn Powers that allowed the museum to abolish its admission fees. “Why is there not $10 million to help keep the staff?” she asked.

A statement issued by the museum, reads: “We are all facing extremely difficult circumstances created by COVID-19. The desire to support community health and well-being in accordance with government mandates requires MoCA to take significant measures in order to protect the public and the future of the institution.”

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