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Posted on 31 May 2015 at 10:37 GMT

PCS members rally in Trafalgar Square

The PCS nationally mobilised support on Saturday 30 May for the struggle against privatisation of its members in the National Gallery, with a demonstration of solidarity and strength in Trafalgar Square.

Janice Godrich, PCS president, chairing the rally, photo J Beishon

Janice Godrich, PCS president, chairing the rally, photo J Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Not far below the steps of the gallery itself, thousands of PCS members and supporters gathered to listen to a line-up of speakers at a rally chaired by PCS president Janice Godrich.

PCS members in the gallery are in the middle of a ten-day strike, their longest yet in a dispute that will have involved 34 days of strike action by the end of this present round on 4th June.

The National Gallery - which is mostly funded by government money - is the UK's most visited tourist destination. But its management is intent on privatising it, including the jobs of 400 of the 600 staff.

PCS represents over 200 gallery assistants and other staff who have been heroically fighting this attack on the workforce and the future of the gallery as a public institution.

They are also fighting management's disgraceful decision to sack PCS representative Candy Udwin, who was part of the union's negotiating team.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, addressing the rally, photo J Beishon

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, addressing the rally, photo J Beishon

Candy Udwin was accused of "breaching commercial confidentiality" by drafting questions for the union's full time negotiations officer to ask the gallery about the cost of using CIS, a private company employed in response to the dispute.

To support the PCS campaign at the National Gallery:
PCS rally in support of National Gallery strikers, 30.5.15, photo J Beishon

PCS rally in support of National Gallery strikers, 30.5.15, photo J Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

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This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 31 May 2015 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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