Welsh museum workers fighting to stop an attack on pay look like they are nearing a settlement as they enter their fourth week of an all-out strike. But they still need solidarity to help them win.
Members of the PCS union at National Museum Wales are fighting bosses’ plans to scrap weekend premium payments that could see some workers lose as much as £3,000.
But there were signs that the dispute was nearing an end after PCS officials and the Welsh government reached an agreement last week.
PCS branch chair Geraint Parfitt told Socialist Worker that the chance of reaching a decent deal “looks good”.
He said, “The Welsh government put an offer forward and now we have to wait for the museum management to agree.”
The museum is funded by the Welsh government—any agreement that requires extra funding would need its approval.
The Labour-led government had previously refused to have anything to do with the dispute.
But on the day that the all-out strike began, Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones promised to intervene after the Welsh elections.
And at a lobby of the Welsh Assembly earlier this month, 20 Assembly Members from both Labour and Plaid Cymru came to support the strikers.
Many strikers are pleased that the assembly has finally intervened.
But Peter Broome from the Big Pit museum in south Wales said, “He should have done before now.”
The strikers have had huge solidarity from trade unions and other supporters.
The strike fund has raised more than £10,000 and strikers have visited towns and cities across Britain to raise support. The strike has also helped to strengthen the union.
Peter spoke to Socialist Worker on a visit to London to raise solidarity. He said, “We’ve become so strong that management have created a monster.
“The people who I thought would be weakest have been really active. It’s brought out people who wouldn’t expect to be militants.”
Candy Udwin, a PCS rep at the National Gallery in London, told the strikers, “You’ve shown that all-out works.
“People have said to me that we managed it because you’re in the National Gallery, in Trafalgar Square.
“But you’ve shown that you can organise in other places too.”
The strikers will need continued support to help them keep going. If they can win, they will be an inspiration and an example to anyone who wants to fight back.
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