Several days after staffers at London’s National Gallery launched an indefinite strike to protest a plan to privatize services there, workers at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh have mounted a strike of their own, the BBC reported today.
Since December 2013 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union have been campaigning against the management’s decision to remove weekend allowances—additional money paid for working on a Saturday or Sunday—for all staff employed after January 2011. The union explained that although up until now campaign efforts have been limited to weekly strikes or lunchtime walkouts, union members will now take more intense measures.
The union’s latest strike action, which began earlier today, will persist through Sunday. An estimated 120 members will partake in protests at the museum’s main site as well as at the National War Museum. The strike coincides with the Edinburgh Festival and will most likely prevent numerous visitors from visiting the museums.
“A two tier workforce now exists in the museum, with those employed before January 2011 receiving the allowance which can amount to between £2,000 and £3,000 a year for staff who work weekend shifts,” the union wrote in an online statement. “These are low paid workers and this allowance makes a big difference to the lives of those who receive it.”
A museum spokeswoman told the BBC that the National Museum of Scotland and the National War Museum would remain partially open during the strike.