Socialist Worker

National Gallery workers set for more walkouts

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2444

Gallery staff on strike last month

Gallery staff on strike last month (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at the National Gallery in London have voted to escalate their action in opposition to bosses’ privatisation plans with a further seven days of strikes. 

They are set to walk out for two days from Saturday of this week followed by a five-day strike from 24 March, with pickets from 9am-11am.

Workers are angry at plans to privatise 400 out of 600 jobs. The gallery doesn’t even pay its staff the London Living Wage.

The walkouts would be the third round of action workers have taken this year against the proposals. They completed two five-day walkouts, one in January and another in February. 

On the eve of January’s walkout, bosses suspended PCS union rep Candy Udwin for allegedly disclosing a confidential figure about the cost of outsourcing to the union. 

But their attempt to undermine the strikes has failed as Candy has joined workers on the picket lines. 

Workers say solidarity is crucial as they step up their fight. Bosses have rejected alternative proposals put by the union—and have said they are not going back to Acas conciliation service for talks.

In the face of the gallery’s serious attacks on the union strikers are asking for people to join a national day of action on Thursday 26 March. 

They are also asking trade unionists and activists to put on speaking tours with strikers to spread the message—that they will fight these attacks.

How to show solidarity

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