Strike shuts down Pompidou Centre

24th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Pompidou Centre was forced to shut down on Monday after staff went on strike to protest planned job cuts at the Parisian mecca of modern and contemporary art.

PARIS - Labour unions fear 400 of the 1,100 jobs at the centre -- popularly known as Beaubourg -- will be cut over the next 10 years under a government plan to trim down its payroll by not replacing retiring staff.

"The Pompidou Centre was not able to open its doors to the public due to a strike by its staff, including personnel working at reception and those responsible for security," said a statement from the centre's director.

Striking personnel demanded that Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand meet with them to "provide clear answers on the future of the Pompidou Centre ... which is already on the verge of a financial abyss," a union statement said.

An envoy from Mitterrand's office was due to meet with museum staff on Tuesday. The personnel was to decide early Tuesday whether to go back to work.

More than 40 percent of staff at the Pompidou Centre are over the age of 50. Legal retirement age in France is 70.


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