Socialist Worker

National Gallery workers begin new walkout days before national demonstration

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2454

Sacked union rep Candy Udwin joined the picket line this morning

Sacked union rep Candy Udwin joined the picket line this morning (Pic: Tom Kay)


National Gallery workers were defiant as they began a new ten day strike today, Tuesday.

The workers are in a battle with management over plans to privatise 400 out of 600 jobs at the gallery in central London.

Strikers were also furious at bosses’ vindictive sacking of their PCS union rep Candy Udwin last week.

One striker told Socialist Worker, “We’re dealing with people who want to stop our action and break the union.

“We’re supporting Candy of course. People are very upset, but it has made us more determined to fight.”

Candy joined strikers on the picket line on Tuesday, the 25th day of action they have taken this year. And workers say they are up for more if bosses don’t back down.

One striker said, “Indefinite strike has been mentioned, and we are up for the fight. We’ve got good camaraderie and we’ve had so much support from around the country.”

Candy and strikers got a standing ovation from delegates at PCS conference last week. Workers were also buoyed by a flash protest supporters staged in support of Candy last week at the gallery.

“It was great to hear the noise of the protest,” one told Socialist Worker. “The next day we were buzzing, it really gave us a morale boost.”

This Saturday the PCS union have called a protest in Trafalgar Square on the doorstep of the gallery in support of the strikers and Candy.

It is important that as many supporters join the demonstration as possible to show gallery bosses and the Tories that the fight continues and workers refuse to be intimidated.

National Gallery rally, 30 May at 1pm, Trafalgar Square, central London.
See ngnotforsale.wordpress.com for information for donating to the strike fund and inviting strikers to speak at campaign and union meetings

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