Action on jobs and re-opening (John Moloney's column)

Submitted by AWL on 2 September, 2020 - 7:07 Author: John Moloney
Tate strike

Strikes to resist job cuts by our members at Tate galleries are continuing. I attended picket lines on 28 and 29 August. Tate bosses have now identified the workers whose jobs they intend to cut, cruelly doing so by sending out emails late at night on Friday 28th. Meanwhile, Tate is advertising for new jobs and is still recruiting staff!

We’re therefore demanding that the workers facing redundancy be reallocated to the positions for which Tate is now recruiting. We’ll begin a ballot of our members at London’s Southbank Centre, also over job cuts, on 1 September. Bosses there have extended the consultation period on job cuts by a week. The Hayward Gallery at the Southbank has recently reopened, so we’re pushing for safety measures to be put in place to allow the rest of the Southbank Centre to safely reopen as well.

We’re also struggling over the terms of reopening at the British Museum, where we’re not satisfied that management have adequate safety measures be put in place. In particular, cleaners will have to clean in very cramped areas without adequate ventilation.

In the Department for Work and Pensions, we’re working to get the maximum turnout in our consultative ballot (17 August to 7 September) for industrial action on extended opening hours. That’s highly likely to develop into a formal dispute and official ballot.

The union recently condemned the Home Office’s release of an anti-migrant video trumpeting its plans to increase deportations. PCS’s policy is for free movement; as a union organising workers in various aspects of the immigration system, we need to think about how we can use our position to fight for that policy.

• John Moloney is assistant general secretary of the PCS civil service union, writing here in a personal capacity

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