May 30, 2013

The British Museum isn’t immune from strikes

Posted at 12:37 pm in British Museum

Whenever the Acropolis & other archaeological sites in Athens are closed due to strikes, it brings with it a lot of negative publicity, with images of tourists whose holidays have been disrupted.

We should remember though, that the museums in the UK are not as immune to strike action as they might want to pretend – and also, that to the best of my knowledge, the New Acropolis Museum (which is run differently to other Greek state museums) has never been closed due to strikes.

BBC News

29 May 2013 Last updated at 17:36
Museums prepare for strike action

Access to several UK museums, galleries and heritage sites may be affected this week due to industrial action.

The National and National Portrait Galleries have warned some of their rooms may be closed on Thursday.

Tate Britain and Tate Modern will open as usual but access to some galleries may be limited, while Tate Liverpool’s galleries will be closed completely.

More stoppages will follow on Friday as a result of walkouts planned by the Public and Commercial Services union.

Workers at the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum in London are expected to participate.

In Liverpool, the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the International Slavery Museum and three others will be closed to the public from Friday lunchtime to Saturday afternoon.

The Museum of Liverpool will be closed for part of Saturday but will reopen once the 24-hour action is completed.

According to organisers, strikers and supporters will form a human chain around the museum on Friday afternoon.

Employees at English Heritage sites, including Stonehenge in Wiltshire, will take action on Sunday.

The industrial action is part of a three-month campaign of industrial action prompted by a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and pensions.

The PCS union, the UK’s largest civil service union, is planning a national walkout at the end of June.

“These strikes highlight the huge gap between the valuable work our members do and the contempt being shown to them by ministers who are imposing cuts and refusing to even talk to us,” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

“Both in our cultural attractions that are known and loved around the world and across the civil service, the government urgently needs to invest to improve services to the public and to help our economy to grow.”

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), some of whose employees will take part in Thursday’s walkouts, declined to comment on the planned industrial action.

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1 Comment »

  1. WhalezEye said,

    05.30.13 at 12:48 pm

    RT @elginism: Blog post: Strikes don’t just affect Greek museums – the British Museum isn’t immune from them either

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