Everybody out! (ctd.)

March 17 2015

Image of Everybody out! (ctd.)

Picture: Museums Association

Yet another strike at the National Gallery, from Tuesday 24th March to Saturday 28th March. The PCS Union really seem to think that they can strike their way to victory on this one. But of course the repeated strikes only serve to persuade National Gallery trustees that they are right to press ahead with their reforms.

The latest strike is also partly in support of Socialist Workers Party member Candy Udwin (above, addressing a recent solidarity for Greece rally held in front of the Gallery), who was suspended by the Gallery a few weeks ago.

Socialist Worker reports:

Bosses suspended PCS union rep Candy Udwin on the eve of the strike in an attempt to undermine the action.

But it’s made workers more determined to fight back. 

Candy addressed a public meeting attended by some 100 supporters including PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka and left wing Labour MP John McDonnell in parliament on Tuesday of last week. [...]

Serwotka said that workers could win, and that gallery bosses’ attacks on Candy were “trumped up charges of the worst order”.

Guardian newspaper columnist Polly Toynbee said, “I think you will win. I have had a bigger response from readers to this than many other issues.”

Support is pouring in for Candy from trade unionists and campaigners—with thousands signing a petition calling for her reinstatement.

Workers at the Ritzy cinema and the Dulwich Picture Gallery were among those at the public rally in parliament, as were artists Bob and Roberta Smith.

Workers are having pictures taken with “Reinstate Candy” posters to demonstrate their support.

Members of the firefighters’ FBU union posed with the signs at their recall conference last week. 

And Candy was warmly received when she spoke at a rally in London last Sunday in solidarity with Greece. [...]

As Candy said, “The nationwide solidarity makes us believe we can win. 

“But it should also give everyone heart to see how much backing there is for anyone who stands up against privatisation, cuts and the austerity policies of this government.”

As many of us suspected all along, I don't think there can be much doubt that the National Gallery has become part of a wider Union campaign against the government.

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