Employees at London’s National Gallery Vote to Strike



Workers at the National Gallery in London have voted in favor of a five-day strike, The New York Times reports, in response to the museum’s decision to “outsource visitor and security services to a private company.”

The change is expected to affect 400 workers, though museum administrators say there will be no layoffs.

Museums are habitually a spot of labor difficulties, given that the people who run them frequently have to keep an eye on their budgets, while simultaneously not wanting to appear ungenerous to those who work there. The privatization plan at the National Gallery follows a move made by the Imperial War Museum, also in London, in 2013, which members of the National Gallery’s Public and Commercial Services union said led to a “knowledge drain.” In 2012, 50 workers at the British Museum went on strike following plans there to privatize maintenance work, and even in the U.S., where strikes are less common, July 2013 saw the Smithsonian concession workers striking in Washington, D.C.

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