Socialist Worker

Tate workers stand firm in all-out strike

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2722

Tate workers are determined to win

Tate workers are determined to win (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Workers on strike at the Tate galleries in London marched to a rally at Parliament Square last Saturday.

It was the 24th day of their strikes against “draconian” cuts. Around 150 strikers marched, led by a PCS union culture group banner.

Banners and ­representatives from a range of unions attended to show solidarity, including Bectu, NEU, UCU, GMB and Unite.

Music, drums bells and whistles drew attention to the demonstration as ­workers chanted, “Coronavirus, no excuse to fire us.”

The strike is against the bosses’ decision to cut over 300 jobs.

It is also to demand that at least 10 percent of the ­£7 ­million bailout the government gave the Tate galleries is used to save jobs.

Redundant

Striker Alice Rose told Socialist Worker, “I work at the Tate and 313 of my colleagues have been made redundant.

“Despite the bailout from the government, they’re refusing to save jobs. “I don’t think this is fair.”

A PCS representative told strikers, “We represent the most diverse and vulnerable members of the workforce. We say no to bosses on £100,000 a year salaries and no to cuts to the most vulnerable.

“We’re not going to stop until we have a solution.

“The cuts are not about their financial situation, they are a political choice.”

Another PCS member told Socialist Worker, “We are aware this fight is related to other cuts that affect many arts institutions.

“It’s clear they want the working class to pay the price of the pandemic. We are marching because we need more funding to stop the arts and culture sector dying.”

As well as job cuts at the Tate, 400 jobs were lost at the Southbank Centre last week.

PCS union members there are balloting for strikes in response.

At the rally at Parliament Square, one speaker told the crowd, “It’s time art ­workers were loved back for their work. And it’s only through collective struggle we can make that happen.”

It is vital workers are ­supported to keep up the fight against cuts and job losses.

Donate to the strike fund at bit.ly/TateStrike. For solidarity details go to AgiTate on Facebook

 

  • PCS union members in the Department for Work and Pensions have voted 77 percent for strikes in a consultative ballot. The union said there was a “strong turnout”.

Bosses are trying to force workers into unsafe working hours, including extending opening times to Saturdays, and 8pm on weekdays.


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