British Museum staff to strike against redundancies

Staff
at the British Museum have voted to take strike action against a cut in the
workforce and other cost-cutting measures.

Members
of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and Prospect plan to begin a
24-hour strike on 17 June after reports that around 150 staff are to be
dismissed.

The
British Museum says it requires budget savings of £6.5m to make up for a fall
in visitors.

Terry
Adams, PCS National Officer, said: "PCS members make a visit to the
British Museum a safe and enriching one, they do not want to close it through
strike action. But they are losing their livelihoods and seeing a great
cultural institution being damaged because the Government has refused to fund
it properly.

"National
treasures will be hidden away from the public, galleries will be closed and
fewer school children will be educated in the British Museum if the Government
does not accept that world-class museums cannot be funded by gift shops and
cafés alone."

By Quentin Reade

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