Socialist Worker

Welsh museum strikers demand the politicians take action

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2503

Lobbying the Welsh Assembly

Lobbying the Welsh Assembly (Pic: Hands of our weekend - fair pay in National Museums Wales)


Striking museum workers in Wales rallied outside the Senedd – the Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff – today, Wednesday.

It came as assembly members (AMs) met to elect a first minister after last Thursday’s elections.

Some 100 strikers from National Museum Wales joined the lobby to demand that Welsh Labour Party leader Carwyn Jones honous his promise to intervene in their dispute.

The members of the PCS union have been fighting for two years against an attack on their pay – and launched an all-out strike last month. Museum bosses want to scrap weekend premiums, meaning some workers could lose £3,000 a year.

Jones said last month that he would intervene after the elections. Labour won the Welsh elections and was hoping to form a minority government today.

But it was blocked after Plaid Cymru, Ukip and the Tories voted together to stop Jones being re-elected as leader of the assembly.

Plaid

PCS branch vice chair Geraint Parfitt was at the rally. He told Socialist Worker, “With the vote today meaning Jones couldn’t form a government we’ll have to wait a little longer to see what happens.

“But Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood is behind us as well.”

He added, “The rally went really well. Quite a few AMs came out – brand new ones who had never been elected before from Labour and Plaid Cymru.

“There was a lot of support from AMs from Labour and Plaid Cymru such as Bethan Jenkins and Lynne Neagle. They were really supportive of us. It boosted striker’s confidence.”

Negotiations between bosses and PCS officials are continuing, which Geraint said were going “more positively than negatively”.

But in the meantime it’s still important that the strikers get as much solidarity as they can to help them keep going.

The strikers are asking for donations to the strike fund. And strike solidarity meetings are set to take place in London tomorrow and in Bristol next week.

Such support will be crucial in helping the strikers win.

London solidarity meeting, Thursday12 May, 6.30pm Quaker Meeting House, 52 St Martin's Lane (just north of Trafalgar Square), WC2N 4EA.
Send donations. Bank: Unity Trust Bank. Account name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch Hardship Fund Account number: 20364700 Sort code: 60-83-01
or via Pay Pal bit.ly/26eNhvq

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