Workers at National Museums Wales began a wave of strikes last weekend against bosses’ plans to slash weekend premium pay rates.
Members of the PCS union at the Big Pit National Coal Mining Museum and St Fagans Natural History Museum in South Wales walked out on Saturday and Sunday.
They were the first days of action in a programme of rolling strikes set to hit the national museum’s seven sites across Wales, culminating on 1 May.
Museum worker and PCS branch secretary Geraint Parfitt said, “We’ve got people working 47 Saturdays in the year.
“They’re not just the same as any other day—I want to spend time with my family.”
The PCS members have been fighting for two years against bosses’ plans.
Last weekend was the second of four planned weekend strikes, followed by a rally on 30 April just ahead the Welsh Assembly elections in May.
Geraint told Socialist Worker, “It’s the first time in Wales there’s ever been a strike running into the assembly elections like this.”
He said solidarity had been crucial for keeping the action going.
“We started a strike fund and unions locally have donated to that,” he said.
“The aim is to take as much industrial action as we can while minimising the hardship it creates for our members.”
Losing weekend allowances would mean a pay cut of 12 to 15 percent for some of the museum’s lowest paid workers.
PCS says its members could end up using food banks.
Geraint added, “They say there’s no money—but they’ve just started voluntary redundancies for managers capped at £96,000.”