Solid start to strike at National Museums Liverpool

Saturday was the beginning of eight weeks of strike action, with a massive turnout on the picket line and high levels of public support.

PCS members working for the seven museums and galleries that make up National Museums Liverpool started strike action on Saturday 17 February in their dispute with the employer of its refusal to pay staff a £1500 cost-of-living payment. The strike is planned to continue until 14 April.

On the first day of the strike on Saturday, around 70 striking members were on the picket line outside the World Museum Liverpool, which was closed to the public because of the strike. Many were dressed in historic costumes to represent museum exhibits, including Greek gods, suffragettes and even a dinosaur. There was music, dancing, and a vibrant and positive feeling among the pickets, many of whom have never been on strike before.

The pickets started outside the World Museum and then marched through Liverpool to the Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head, led by a member dressed as Zeus, king of the Greek gods.

The Museum of Liverpool was open to the public, but many visitors decided not to go in as a show of solidarity after speaking to the pickets. A tutor with a group of 20 Spanish students spoke to the pickets and said they would not cross the picket line and would speak to other tutors and pass the message on to go elsewhere during the eight week strike period. Other members of the public stopped to speak to the pickets and were directed to alternative visitor attractions to enjoy within Liverpool.

Themed picket lines

The museum workers have created a schedule of themed picket lines for the next few weeks. All will be at the Museum of Liverpool at the Pier Head from 8-11a.m.

Tuesday 20 February – Return of the dogs, show NML what loyalty means by bringing along your four-legged best friend.

Wednesday 21 February – Super Scouse Disco – Festival vibes in sequins, even if it rains.

Thursday 22 February – Party on the Pierhead, bring along lawn games, skipping ropes etc. Children welcome.

Friday 23 February – Art for All, artists will be on the picket line to help you get sketchy and creative.

Saturday 24 February -Make some noise – a rally with speakers and music.