PCS members to hand over petition signed by 130,000 people

PCS members on strike at the National Gallery, 2014 © Tim Lezard

PCS members on strike at the National Gallery, 2014 © Tim Lezard

Staff on continuous strike over privatisation at the National Gallery will today hand in a 130,000-name petition against the plan.

A protest will be held outside the gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square from 1pm before PCS delivers the petition to the new director Gabriele Finaldi. A copy will also be handed to culture minister Ed Vaizey.

The union’s members started a continuous strike on 11 August and have now taken more than 75 days of industrial action since February.

In a welcome development, the new director met the union shortly after taking up his post but more talks are necessary to resolve the dispute.

The union remains opposed to the privatisation of all the gallery’s visitor services and is fighting for the reinstatement of its senior representative Candy Udwin, who an interim tribunal has found was likely to have been sacked unlawfully for trade union activity in relation to the dispute.

There is a picket line outside the gallery in Trafalgar Square between 9am and 11am each day, and also on Fridays from 5pm to 6.30pm.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We do not believe the public want to see gallery services handed to a private security company. Privatisation is unnecessary and risky at what is one of our country’s greatest cultural assets.”

You can support the strikers by donating to Sort code 086001 Account no 20169002 or sending a cheque to PCS Culture Media and Sport Association, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House, 1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG 


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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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