May 12, 2011: UPDATE on Guggenheim Boycott
May 12, 2011
This past week, a number of signatories met with representatives from the Guggenheim Foundation and Museum and (by speakerphone) members of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC). The meetings permitted us to resume the conversations we initiated with the Guggenheim in June 2010 and to move forward on the issues that matter to all parties, namely to improve the conditions and rights for workers on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, the meetings followed the visit in March 2011 by several signatories to the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. We were invited to the island by TDIC. Representatives from TDIC gave us a tour of the various projects on the Island. We also visited the Saadiyat Island Construction Village there.
In this past week’s meetings, we conversed with the Guggenheim and TDIC on how best to move forward with three issues raised in our petition: i) The independent monitor and a monitoring program; ii) Recruitment Fees; iii) Enforcement of TDIC’s announced Employment Practices Policies (EPP) and forthcoming additions. We also provided the Guggenheim with a number of specific recommendations, and hope to initiate dialogue regarding implementation.
We hope that significant new announcements on the development and implementation of a rigorous and transparent monitoring program, on recruitment fees, and on additional mechanisms to enforce fair labor policies on Saadiyat Island will be forthcoming.
Our boycott remains in place for now. Our actions are motivated by our hope that TDIC and the Guggenheim are trying to put in place on Saadiyat Island a cultural project with irreproachable labor standards. Our actions are intended as a generative contribution towards achieving these goals.