At Septembers’ AGM there was a collection for National Gallery Strikers. This letter was recently received from Nigel: “We collected £120.00 cash for the National Gallery strikers who are members of my union, PCS. They were striking over contracting out of nearly two thirds of the staff, over 300 posts, to a private security firm, also over pay, and for the reinstatement of sacked union rep Candy Udwin.
I handed the money over on the picket line last Monday to Candy personally, emphasising that it was from Red Rope, the Socialist Climbing and Walking club. The strikers were delighted.
In fact the strike was suspended yesterday, Friday October 2nd, after 111 days. Although privatisation has not been stopped as the contract has already been signed,the strikers got nearly everything they wanted short of this, by way of retention of terms and conditions, both for employees being transferred over into the private company Securitas, and any new employees, who will be on ‘broadly comparable’ terms and conditions. The London Living Wage will be paid. There was also agreement on rosters and shifts and on union recognition, and the National Gallery have said they will ‘review’ the contracting out after one year. Also the Gallery have agreed to reinstate Candy from the beginning of November and she will be on full pay until then. So things look good, it’s a big achievement and Red Rope helped!”