The British Museum Employees Go on a Week-Long Strike

The British Museum Employees Announced a Week-Long Strike on Saturday, as Cultural Workers Across UK Take Industrial Action.

Jan 31, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The British Museum
The museum. Via Wikipedia.


The British Museum employees decided on Saturday to protest. The museum’s staff are not the only cultural institution employees taking on this action. This action also includes many other culturally significant facilities at the U.K. The employees are demanding better payment and labour conditions.


The British Museum Employees Seek Better Working Conditions

The British Museum
The British Museum


A great number of visitors and security staff will start their protest on February 13. This date marks a holiday in most U.K. schools. The Public and Commercial Service Union (PCS) called for a protest. The ongoing disagreement led to the organizing this protest, where the main requests are better jobs, pay and pensions.


The Rosetta Stone as seen at the British Museum.
The Rosetta Stone as seen at the British Museum in London, Britain, 2021.


Overall, those actions include more than 100,000 workers, who are ready to fight for their rights. Some part of the government sector will join the protests on picket lines, on February 1. This includes the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). These strikes can also have a great impact on the presentation of many exhibitions.


For example, it could potentially result in the early closure of a historic exhibition about ancient Egypt, scheduled to run until February 19. It publicly displays the Rosetta Stone in the midst of an ongoing effort to give it back to Egypt. The British Museum spoke, and said the strike is out of their control since it includes a wider public sector’s action.

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Not Only Cultural Workers, But Other Institutions

The British Museum
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Sections of the Parthenon Marbles also known as the Elgin Marbles are displayed at The British Museum on November 22, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)


The British Museum spokesman said they come prepared. The museum conducted a strategic plan to respond to the shortage of staff on the strike days. “This plan prioritises a safe and secure opening of the museum on a phased basis,” he said. The Public and Commercial Services Union, on the other hand, said the museum will probably close at those days.


Workers at cultural institutions are not the only ones going on strike. The Union organized strikes at Britain’s vehicle licensing agency and dozens of criminal courts. “We warned ministers that our action would spread if they ignored our demands, and we’re good to our word”, said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.


The British Museum, London
The British Museum, London


The British Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and national museums in Scotland are among those with PCS workers who could walk out on Wednesday, the Museums Association said. After a five-day walkout which resulted in a wage offer of 10.5% in November, workers at the National Coal Mining Museum declared a success.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.