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Bosses stall on deal, but Wales museum workers on all-out strike remain solid

This article is over 5 years, 7 months old
PCS union members in Wales are building solidarity as talks are set for this week, writes Nick Clark
Issue 2507
Museum workers at the Merthyr Rising festival
Museum workers at the Merthyr Rising festival (Pic: Hands Off our Weekend – Fair pay in National Museums Wales)

Striking museum workers hoovered up solidarity at the Merthyr Rising festival in South Wales last Sunday.

The PCS union members led a trade union march at the festival and raised an estimated £200 for the strike fund.

PCS assistant branch secretary Geraint Parfitt told Socialist Worker, “It was really good.

“We met lots of people and had people with buckets going all over the place.”

Workers at museum sites across Wales have been on all-out strike since the end of April.

They have been fighting for more than two years against bosses’ plans to scrap their weekend premiums. The plans could see some low paid workers lose as much as £3,000 a year.

Strikers were set to hold a rally in Cardiff on Thursday followed by a members’ meeting. The meeting will follow talks between PCS officials and museum management.

Bosses have been stalling since the Welsh government intervened in the dispute in the middle of last month.

Welsh economy minister Ken Skates was said to have helped to broker a deal which PCS Wales had said was “virtually guaranteed” to be accepted by its members.

But that was followed by two weeks of silence from bosses after they took the deal to their board of trustees at the end of last month.


Geraint said, “We had a meeting with the government and had a deal, but the management are saying they still need to get it agreed by the trustees.

“It’s coming up to three weeks now and we still don’t know what’s going on. But if that’s the way they want to play it, fine.

“I’m getting quite a nice strike tan out on the picket line every day.”

In the meantime, a number of solidarity fundraising events were set to take place for the strikers across Britain to help them keep going.

Strikers and their supporters were set to rally in Swansea on Wednesday evening, with speakers from the NUM and Unison unions.

Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins was also set to speak.

Supporters in London were set to be joined by strikers for a solidarity social on Friday.

And PCS members in Birmingham were set to welcome Geraint to a public meeting in support of the strike on Thursday.

Geraint said, “We’re getting support from all over the place. Cardiff trades council have been collecting for us.

“Two local branches of the RMT union have given money. And we’re raising money on the picket lines every day.”


Donate to the strike fund

Bank: Unity Trust Bank
Account Name: PCS Amgueddfa Cymru 107006 Branch Hardship Fund
Account number: 20364700 Sort code: 60-83-01

Invite a striker to speak at your branch meeting. Email branch secretary Peter Hill at [email protected]

Keep up to date with solidarity events by following the Hands Off our Weekend—Fair pay in National Museums Wales page on Facebook

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