Socialist Worker

Museum workers in Wales hit back at pay attacks

by Neil Harrison, PCS Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales Branch Chair (pc)
Issue No. 2465

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales (Pic: Elliott Brown on Flickr)

Over 120 strikers and supporters attended a rally outside Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales on Saturday in protest against museum bosses plans to scrap weekend allowances for the lowest paid staff.

The one day strike among PCS members followed an 80 percent vote in favour of industrial action.

It  closed most national museums throughout Wales—from the National Slate Museum in Llanberis to the Waterfront Museum in Swansea and the Big Pit Mining Museum in Blaenavon.

It reduced service at the museum’s two biggest sites in Cardiff.

Members from across Wales came to Cardiff to make their feelings clear to bosses.

Management has threatened to sack all affected staff and re-engage them on new contracts if their slashing of wages isn’t accepted.

The strike was the latest in a long running dispute over cuts in weekend payments. The attack would result in a pay cut of up to £3,000 a year for some of the lowest paid workers at the museum.

Museum management consistently refuse to take a similar pay cut themselves.

And despite a commitment to introduce the Living Wage the cuts to weekend pay would leave 40 percent of those entitled to the it worse off than before.

The cuts follow a near 20 percent reduction in a grant  from the Labour-run Welsh Government over recent years.

Speakers included Julie Morgan, Labour AM, and Bethan Jenkins Plaid Cymru AM and a striker from National Gallery in London.

Messages of support were received from PCS groups across the Wales and Britain. Over £300 was raised for the fighting fund and a series of strikes are planned throughout the Museum sites in August.

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