Staff at London's National Gallery go on indefinite strike to protest at the outsourcing of some services

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, March 1, 2024

Staff at London's National Gallery go on indefinite strike to protest at the outsourcing of some services
File photo of staff from the National Gallery strike for pay rise and against privatization of museum services in central London on October 15, 2014. Thousands of public sector workers in British courts, job centres and museums went on strike for better pay , prompting an angry response from the government. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL.

LONDON (AFP).- Hundreds of staff at London's National Gallery on Tuesday began an indefinite strike, the latest in a series of walkouts to protest at the outsourcing of some services to the private sector.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union have staged 56 days of action since February after plans were revealed for privatising certain services, which the gallery said would allow it to "operate more flexibly and deliver an enhanced service".

The museum is London's second most popular tourist attraction, drawing around six million visitors per year.

It will stay open during the latest strike, although some rooms will be closed and many educational workshops have been cancelled.

Gabriele Finaldi, the museum's new director, announced in late July that he had signed a five-year contract with the private company Securitas to look after reception and security, covering around 300 current positions.

The museum insists that no jobs are threatened, but PCS leader Mark Serwotka argued that privatisation could "harm the (gallery's) international reputation."

Around a third of the museum's 600 staff are expected to join the protest.

Nick McCarthy, the union's director of campaigns and communications, told BBC radio: "We have no alternative but to go on strike -- the privatisation is completely unnecessary.

"Today's strike is indefinite until such time as we are able to reach a solution with the gallery."

There will also be a picket line outside the gallery.

The union has received the backing of Jeremy Corbyn, the leftist candidate who is odds-on favourite to become the next leader of the Labour Party. 

He denounced the "intransigence" of museum management and called on them to drop the plans.

The gallery's imposing building overlooks Trafalgar Square in the heart of London and its impressive permanent collection of paintings from the 13th to 19th centuries is open to view without charge for 361 days a year.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

August 12, 2015

Picasso painting seized on yacht escorted to the Reina Sofia Museum by Spanish police

Tate announces first exhibition to survey an unexplored yet significant element of Francis Bacon's work

Staff at London's National Gallery go on indefinite strike to protest at the outsourcing of some services

Gagosian Gallery now represents founder of video art Nam June Paik Estate

Critic and scholar Annette Michelsen donates her papers to the Getty Research Institute

The Whitney Museum of American Art to debut 'Frank Stella: A Retrospective' this October

Earliest known photograph of Smithsonian Castle goes on display to celebrate institution's 169th birthday

Tate invites online visitors to identify unknown locations in John Piper's photographs of Britain

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's ashes to be returned to his native Colombia in December

Browning shotguns, Pennsylvania family's Civil War archive dominate prices realized at Morphy's sale

Cook up an Edible Masterpiece and help raise money for UK museums and galleries

Unique cultural project housed on a remote beach in the Norwegian Arctic Circle

'World of Toy Soldiers' awaits collectors in 3-day online-only auction, Aug. 28-30

The Other Art Fair returns to Old Truman Brewery for its tenth anniversary edition

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image to present 'Textures of Conflict: Frontline Reportage'

'Behind the Lens' live with legendary rock 'n' roll photographers Henry Diltz and Pattie Boyd

'Raw and Delirious' on view at Kunsthalle Bern

Zurich Asia to offer rare philatelic treasures of imperial and modern China

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates to auction country store, glass, and advertising memorabilia

Tabanlıoğlu Architects to debut installation at Somerset House - London Design Festival 2015

Exhibition at Casa dell'Arte features works by contemporary Turkish artists

Long taboo, Kurdish culture sees renaissance in Syria

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful