Posters from the collection of Stephen Lewis to be shown at Milton Public Library
During the month of September 2017, the Wotiz Gallery of the Milton Public Library will show posters from the collection of Stephen Lewis in an exhibit called ”Workers Struggles.” Mr. Lewis has shared his response to the new administration in Washington as this display represents many views on how employees seek fairness in the workplace. While there won’t be posters shown here about the Verizon strike, this visual representation will illustrate many of the problems workers encounter in trying to secure decent wages and working conditions. The posters are from a collection of more than 6800 owned by Mr. Lewis, who is a retired union leader and continuing activist. They are from several countries and address lots of different issues.
To appreciate this month’s theme, Stephen asks us to “Imagine you are a single parent with two young children. Your job is doing clerical work at a large corporation that handles claims. You make $10.50/hour. That barely pays the rent, food and clothes for you and your children. You receive 2 weeks of paid vacation per year, after working for this company for 9 years. The company had $30,000,000 in profits last year. The company made this money from the work that you and your coworkers performed. You would like to go talk to management about receiving another $1.00 per hour, but your friend, who used to work there, did that last year and was fired on the spot. The manager claimed they were a poor worker. You decide to talk with some coworkers about how you can receive a larger share of the wealth you helped create. The boss refuses to talk with you. What do you do? That is one, of many, dilemmas that workers face. For many, the repercussions are more severe.”
If you are an employee, you may be intrigued by some of the graphic art styles and issues that are addressed in these posters. They are accompanied by placards that give the background on each and translates words to English if it is in another language. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Milton Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and by IBEW Local 103, Carpenters District Council, and Asbestos Workers Local 6.
For more information about this exhibit or about displaying your artwork at the library, contact Jean Hlady, Adult Services Librarian, at 617-698-5757, x. 3 or Email [email protected]. The Library is located at 476 Canton Avenue, Milton.