In the middle of contemporary art week, the Center Pompidou had planned a dense and festive program. But social news wanted it otherwise, with a strike by Center agents from Monday October 16, then continued on Thursday 19 and today Friday 20. The unions had made this weekend “strategic days”, in order to to disrupt the various scheduled events, including a clubbing evening (Artklub) planned for this Friday evening. The security agents being part of the strikers, the latter will not be able to stand.
The strikers’ demands concern the maintenance of their position as well as their status throughout the duration of the work scheduled on the Beaubourg site (2025-2030). The concern concerns a possible recourse to the outsourcing of certain services (ticketing, security, mediation, for example) at the end of the renovation of the Center. A scenario already seen in other institutions, such as at the Picasso Museum, when Laurent le Bon – now president of the Center Pompidou – led its reopening.
“The dialogue was immediately initiated between the unions and management, it is ongoing and we must allow it to continue”indicated a spokesperson for the Center Pompidou at Arts Journal. The unions recognize progress in this dialogue with the Center and rue de Valois, despite “ambiguities” to be resolved.
The strikers also wish to obtain clarifications on the modalities of the continuation of the Center’s activities during the work, which they consider today to be very vague despite the signing of a few agreements. Thursday’s general assembly brought to light the idea of an occupation of the Grand Palais Éphémère by the Center, an avenue on which the operator of the venue (GL Events) would reflect, but which remains constrained by Olympic law, obliging the temporary nave to be dismantled after 2024.
During this week of disruption, the “Conversations” organized as part of the Paris+ fair were relocated to the Picasso Museum. A relocation which allowed this programming to take place despite the social conflict, but considered as an attempt to “break the strike” by the unions.