Vatican Museum Workers Take Unprecedented Legal Action Over Alleged Labor Conditions

In a new lawsuit against the Vatican, 49 employees of the Vatican Museums have initiated a labor dispute against the Pope Francis administration, alleging unfair and poor working conditions. The workers, mostly museum attendants, have sent a petition to the Vatican’s “Governatorato,” the body that administers the Vatican City State, detailing their grievances.

According to lawyer Laura Sgrò, who is representing the workers, the petition laments rules that cause “labor conditions undermining each worker’s dignity and health.” The issues being alleged by the disgruntled workers include extra work hours paid at lower rates and insufficient health and safety provisions.

The Vatican Museums declined to comment on the matter. The news was first reported by the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera on Sunday.

The 49 workers, all of whom are Italian citizens and have dedicated many years of their lives to the Vatican, represent a small portion of the approximately 700 people employed at the Vatican Museums. These museums, which include the renowned Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, are among the most visited in the world, alongside the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London.

The petition represents the first formal step in a mandatory conciliation process under Vatican law. If the conciliation procedure fails, the case can then be brought to a Vatican Court.