PCS members continue their campaign against privatisation

PCS members on strike at the National Gallery, February 2015. © Tim Lezard

PCS members on strike at the National Gallery, February 2015. © Tim Lezard

Workers at the National Gallery in London are calling for a halt to the pre-election privatisation as they take part in another five-day strike.

The PCS members have already held 18 days of industrial action against plans to sell off all visitor services and will be on strike for four days from today and again on 1 May.

The invitation to tender is due to be published just days before the general election in what the union says is a cynical move to bury the issue and tie the hands of the next government.

It is asking supporters to sign an open letter to outgoing gallery director Nicholas Penny that points out that Labour has called for talks to resume so the dispute can be resolved and the Greens are calling for a halt to the tendering and for the next government to review the proposals.

The letter adds: “It must therefore be right to halt the process until after the election in order to allow an incoming government, as well as the new director, to review the situation. This would also enable talks to go ahead to resolve the current dispute which would be in the best interests of the gallery and everyone concerned.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is cynical of the gallery to try to press ahead with this sell-off in the run-up to the general election and before the new director has taken over. The process should be halted now and we should be given a proper chance to discuss maintaining services in-house.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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