PCS fighting Imperial War Museum derecognition threat

PCS is campaigning against the threat of being derecognised as an official union with negotiating rights at the Imperial War Museum, which has 5 sites in England and Northern Ireland.

On 6 March, Imperial War Museum Director Francoise Harris wrote to PCS, FDA and Prospect unions confirming that they wish to derecognise PCS and FDA and move forward with only one union – Prospect.

Essentially, derecognising PCS constitutes a direct attack on IWM workers' rights, job security, economic equality, workplace protections, solidarity, and democratic principles. PCS does not accept derecognition and are launching a campaign to maintain recognition at IWM.

PCS has played a vital role in advocating for the rights and interests of employees at IWM for many years. We campaign for:

  • fair wages
  • safe working conditions, 
  • and provide a platform for collective bargaining. 

We aim to foster a more equitable and conducive work environment.

Derecognising PCS would not only strip employees of their collective bargaining power but also undermine the principles of democracy and representation in the workplace. It would leave staff vulnerable to arbitrary decisions by management, with little recourse for addressing grievances or negotiating fair terms of employment.

Significant negative effects

Derecognising any union can have significant negative effects on equality by exacerbating wage disparities, reducing job security and access to benefits, worsening working conditions, diminishing workers' voice and representation, limiting training and advancement opportunities, and weakening legal protections for workers.

Furthermore, derecognising a union perpetuates economic inequality by widening the gap between workers and employers in terms of bargaining power. Without collective representation, workers are unable to negotiate for fair wages and benefits, resulting in stagnant or declining real wages for the workforce. This exacerbates existing disparities in wealth and income distribution, further marginalising vulnerable workers.


This is also an attack on the IWM workers democratic choices. The decision to derecognise PCS disregards the democratic choices made by the workforce in electing this union as their representative. Employees have entrusted PCS to advocate on their behalf, in fact in a management-run poll 80% of staff voted for union recognition, therefore it is imperative that their decision is respected.

This move infringes upon workers' freedom of association and expression, denying them a voice in decisions that directly affect their livelihoods and well-being. This erosion of democratic rights not only harms individual workers but also undermines the foundation of a fair and just society.

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