National Museum strike solid

Workers determined to stand up to management bullying and pay cuts

Museum4-16.jpg

Workers at six sites of the National Museum of Wales came out on all out strike today in protest at management threats to sack the workforce and impose new contracts that will remove weekend working allowances for museum workers. They will strike Friday and over the weekend before starting all out action on Bank Holiday Monday.

Some workers are paid just £15,000 a year and work over 35 weekends a year to achieve that level. They depend on the weekend working allowances and are being threatened with the sack if they do not accept the latest threatened contract from management.

The strike was solid across all six sites and workers gathered at the National Museum at an enthusiastic and optimistic strike rally. The morale was high as they heard PCS speakers including general secretary, Mark Serwotka, condemn the Victorian management tactics as the museum that imposed pay cuts on low paid workers.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has promised to intervene after the election on May 5th, but will that be too little, too late?

PCS members are demanding that the National Museum of Wales follows the example of the National Museum of Scotland and settle the dispute: "if it's good enough for Scotland, it's good enough for Wales" declared Mark Serwotka.

Strikers crowded into the PCS Welsh Assembly election hustings after the strike rally where they heard candidates from all the main parties except UKIP and the Liberals. But it was TUSC candidate, Ross Saunders, who got the loudest applause for calling for the National Museum of Wales to be brought under Welsh government control from an arms-length status - "they are bloody long arms!" agreed one of the museum workers from the Big Pit mining museum in Blaenavon.

Many workers were critical of Welsh Labour for making so many cuts "I'm a fourth generation miner and we have fought for Labour, but for the first time I am thinking of voting for another party" said one and "you don't deserve the title Labour" said another.

The determination of the museum workers deserve the support of all trade unionists. You can make a contribution to the hardship fund:

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

Dave Reid


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