13 February 2015
PCS members at National Gallery call further strike 22-26 February
See beneath this report for more details
Following their highly successful 5 day strike against privatisation, staff at the National Gallery are set to take a further five days of strike action from Sunday 22 February- Thursday 26 February.
On the eve of their last strike, gallery management suspended one of their union reps, Candy Udwin, on a trumped up charge. She is suspended for asking questions about the cost of privatisation at the gallery.
Strikers used their five day strike to spread the word to trade union and campaign meetings across London. They are now receiving invites to speak at union branches across the country.
On the fourth day of the strike, the strikers attempted to deliver the National Gallery anti-privatisation petition with over 40,000 signatures on it to a meeting of the gallery’s board of trustees. It was reflective of management’s bullying approach that none of the trustees made themselves available to receive it.
The strikers then held a lively march down Whitehall, with support from Jeremy Corbyn MP, to deliver a copy of the petition to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
On Tuesday 10 February, a public meeting in Parliament saw around 100 people turn out in support of the campaign against privatisation and to demand Candy’s reinstatement.
The meeting was chaired by Valerie Vaz MP and supporters heard speeches from PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, John McDonnell MP, Guardian columnist Poly Toynbee whose brilliant article, “Inside the National Gallery, a portrait of modern inequality” has rightly embarrassed gallery management, Ian Lavery MP, artist Rob and Roberta Smith, Daisy Barter from the Ritzy Living Wage campaign, Olivia Mansfield, from the Dulwich Picture Gallery campaign, Max Watson from London Met Uni Unison and others.
Read the appeal from Candy Udwin here
Support 2nd five day strike!
22-26 February pickets 9-11am, strike meeting 11am
Day of action Thursday 26 February
Rally 1-1.30pm National Gallery, march 1.30pm
Download the appeal for support for the strike leaflet here
(the National Gallery is on the northern side of Trafalgar Square)
What you can do:
Invite speakers from the dispute into your union branch/ campaign meeting:
Make a donation to the strike fund:
Donate to Sort code 086001 Account no 20169002 or cheques to Culture Sector Hardship Fund, c/o PCS North West Region, Jack Jones House,1 Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG.
Write to the Gallery Trustees:
Email the chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Ask your MP to support the campaign and back Early Day Motion 300. Email your MP here: http://action.pcs.org.uk/page/speakout/no-privatisation-at-the-national-gallery
Sign and share our petition – make it 50,000!
Demand Candy Udwin’s reinstatement:
Sign and share the statement http://action.pcs.org.uk/page/s/no-privatisation-at-the-national-gallery
Download #ReinstateCandy poster and share your selfie: http://bit.ly/reinstatecandy
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