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Museum workers rally to demand action from Welsh government

Where’s Carwyn?

By Dave Reid


National Museum of Wales workers from all over Wales, currently on indefinite strike against the management’s imposition of a cut in pay, rallied at the Senedd in Cardiff to demand the Welsh government step in and resolve the dispute.

While the politicians milled around the Senedd trying to cobble together a deal to form a Welsh government, museum workers held an enthusiastic lobby and rally addressed by PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, and other trade unionists to demand the Welsh government step into their dispute.

For two years the National Museum of Wales management have been trying to impose a cut in weekend payments to museum workers. In March they announced that they would sack all the workers and impose the pay cuts unless workers surrendered. But the museum workers, members of PCS, refused to be bullied into accepting the wage cut and responded by calling an indefinite strike.

The Big Pit mining museum is closed as ex-miners running the museum have gone on strike and are organising collections for the Hardship Fund all over South Wales. Other museums are being kept open by management but with a greatly reduced service.

The National Museum of Wales is financed by the Welsh government and run as an arms-length company. A week before the election on May 5 Carwyn Jones, Labour First Minister, promised that as soon as the election was over he would step in and resolve the dispute. So as workers asked today: “Where is Carwyn?” and chanted “We want Carwyn!”.

A number of Labour and Plaid Assembly Members came out of the Senedd to address the strikers and offering support. But this dispute could be resolved easily if the Welsh government were to act to instruct the National Assembly to drop its attacks on the workforce that makes the museum work. In Scotland the museum management dropped their attacks when instructed to by the Scottish government. As Mark Serwotka said “What is good enough for Scotland is good enough for Wales”.

The Museum workers hardship fund has collected thousands of pounds including an excellent £1000 from UNITE but much more is needed. Raise a donation at your union branch and pay it into:

Bank: Unity Trust Bank

Account name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch Hardship Fund

Account number: 20364700

Sort code: 60-83-01

Or via PayPal: http://bit.ly/26eNhvq