Support growing for National Gallery strikers

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Well-supported picket at the National Gallery yesterday morning
Well-supported picket at the National Gallery yesterday morning

OVER 30 National Gallery strikers and their supporters were in a determined mood on Day 9 of their indefinite strike against privatisation and the victimisation of their PCS rep Candy Udwin.

Two strikers, who did not wish to be named for fear of victimisation, spoke to News Line. One said: ‘We need to preserve our conditions, the management are not negotiating with us, they are determined to carry through the privatisation. We need to close the place down completely. There should be a national strike, it is the only way to stop these people.’

The other striker added: ‘The gallery have signed the contract with Securitas, who we’ve been outsourced to, but we began our indefinite strike before we were effectively handed over. So the struggle is still in the gallery’s remit. Support is growing, our 38 Degrees petition, in the space of a week, went from 40,000 to over 100,000 signatures. There should be a national strike. We have nobody in parliament who is arguing our case at the moment, so we have to take it on ourselves.’

At a short strike rally, the sacked rep Candy Udwin announced that the CWU West Midlands had agreed to make a £100 donation every week to the strike fund and the strikers also have the support of Whipps Cross Hospital workers and east London GPs. She announced that there is to be a special strike picket at 4.30pm today which will be joined by doctors and other hospital workers.