Labor, unions — March 22, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Labor mural being removed from Maine Department of Labor


THIS is positively astounding.

In 2007, Judy Taylor, an artist based on Mount Desert, won a competition to create a mural for the lobby of the Department of Labor (MDOL). The work was to depict the “History of Labor in the State of Maine,” and was commissioned by the Maine Arts Commission. Taylor’s work is of 11 panels which you can find here; here are what panels 7-9 look like:

Today staff of the MDOL learned that this mural would be removed. In an email, Acting Commissioner Laura Boyett made the announcement, along with news that some of the names of the meeting rooms would be changed, names like the “Perkins Room.”

Here’s a snippet from the perky letter written by the Acting Commissioner, letting her staff know that, well, some businessmen and women don’t feel “welcomed” when they are forced to stare at the evil depictions of labor and its history in the state of Maine:

We have received feedback that the administration building is not perceived as equally receptive to both businesses and workers – primarily because of the nature of the mural in the lobby and the names of our conference rooms. Whether or not the perception is valid is not really at issue and therefore, not open to debate. If either of our two constituencies perceives that they are not welcome in our administration building and this translates to a belief that their needs will not be heard or met by this department, then it presents a barrier to achieving our mission.

I will be seeking a new home for the mural and we will be renaming the conference rooms in our administrative office at Commerce Drive in Augusta. However, I’d like your help in coming up with new names for the conference rooms. I’m holding a ‘renaming contest’ and will select from your suggestions. The names can be places, concepts or things but should not reflect a bias toward either business or workers – the names should feel welcoming to both. Although arguments can be made that some of the existing names do not reflect any bias, to keep things simple, we are going to make a clean sweep across the board and change all. Therefore, we need naming suggestions for 8 conference rooms.

An absolutely, unbelievably, painfully anti-union obscenity.

I’m just sayin’…