Original Publication Date: 10 October 2013
The Board of Governors of the Park Museum has come under fire for appearing to blame members of the Association of Professional Park Construction Workers (APPCW) for the ongoing strike at the museum.
In an open letter addressed to the museum’s future patrons, the Board contends that it has bargained “in good faith” and been conscientious about attending negotiations with the APPCW’s representatives. The letter appears on the museum’s web site.
“At no time did we threaten to void our contract with the Builders’ Guild (APPCW), as was reported, nor have we ever failed to attend negotiations. We believe that we have bargained in good faith with the members of the APPCW and, to the best of our ability, we have met members’ demands,” the letter begins.
Some critics, however, have accused the museum’s Board of Governors of “whitewashing” and some have even suggested the letter is a form of sabotage.
“I think they might be using that letter to bait the APPCW,” said Gareth Shepherd, Park Police Officer and President of the Federation of Canine Security Workers (FCSW).
“We’ve seen this kind of thing happen and it can turn very ugly,” he said.
Construction of the main building of the Park Museum ceased on September 14, when talks between the APPCW and the museum’s Board of Governors broke down. In the letter, the museum’s Board of Governors appears to blame APPCW members’ “demands” for the current impasse, something which Shepherd says is common tactical error.
“More often than not, it backfires,” he says. “[Their] use of the word ‘demand’ is the first indication that they are trying to sway public opinion with the letter, rather than just using it to inform future patrons of the delay. Their hope appears to be that donors and future patrons will place the blame for the delay and for escalating costs on these ‘demands’ rather than on both parties’ inability to come to an agreement.”
The full letter appears here.