BECTU members at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre take action over pay

The Globe theatreTour guides at Shakespeare’s Globe today begin a campaign of industrial action over pay.

Last year the BECTU members  took 358,000 visitors on tours, an increase of 16% on the year before, not including the additional thousands of international students who come to the venue. Tour guides at the venue regularly take up to 60 people on a tour, bringing in an income second only to the theatre itself, with far lower overheads.

A request for a rise to £13.50 an hour was rejected by managers.

BECTU national officer Pat Styles said: “It is unfortunate that management were not prepared to move their position to meet us halfway, as we would rather not inconvenience members of the public who will now miss out on a properly guided tour of the Globe whilst our members are on strike.

“This strike could easily have been avoided if the management of the Globe were prepared to negotiate – however, they chose to spurn the numerous opportunities we presented to them to settle this matter honourably and amicably and they now face strike action by our tour guide members and the inevitable loss of revenue this will cause as a result of their decision not to negotiate with us.”

BECTU argues that the union’s claim would cost a total of circa £27,000 to settle making it clear that there is little justification for the Globe’s suggestion that the members’ pay claim is excessive or unsustainable.

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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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