Museum Workers Strike in London

Museum workers are on strike, demanding better wages Photo: Hypermarx

Museum workers in Britain went on strike on Wednesday demanding better pay, Art Daily reported. Other public sector employees at courts, job centers, driving test centers, and airports also striked.

The union of Public and Commercial Services (PCS) announced that its 250,000 members would stay at home for 24 hours. However, government statistics say that only 80,000 actually took part in the strike.

The Guardian reports that some participating museum workers from around London protested outside the National Gallery against increasing privatization. With the exception of the museum’s Rembrandt exhibition, which opened on Wednesday, the institution was closed. Workers from other public sectors also staged protests in front of various other government buildings.

The PCS claims that some civil servants are being forced to take a 20 percent pay cut next year because of frozen wages and increasing contributions to pensions. The PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka said “These figures prove what people in low-paid households already know, that the real cost of living is soaring while wages are being cut year after year. Our action this week demands an end to these cuts that are slashing the public servants’ living standards.”

The strike follows a four-hour walkout by health workers on Monday, the first strike by National Health Service workers since Margaret Thatcher’s era. A major demonstration against the government by civil servants is planned in London on Saturday.

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