Six National Museum Wales sites hit by strike action

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Media captionThe National Slate Museum was one of the three sites that closed

Staff at six National Museum Wales (NMW) sites have walked out in the first of a series of strikes planned throughout the summer holidays.

Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members walked out at 13:00 BST in a row over pay and pensions cuts.

Members of staff working on weddings were not expected to join the strike.

A NMW spokesman said it was "very disappointed" with the strike and apologised to affected customers.

Staff at St Fagans National History Museum walked out at 13:15 BST and were handing out leaflets to visitors.

Strike action will take place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon throughout August.

Neil Harrison, PCS branch chairman at NMW, said: "Management's proposals would see staff who work weekends lose up to £1,000 and nearly 10% off their final pension entitlement.

"Museum staff have already lost 15% in real terms in their wages over the past four years and now they are expected to lose more."

Strike-affected museums

  • St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff
  • National Museum Cardiff
  • Big Pit, Blaenavon
  • Swansea Waterfront Museum
  • Drefach Wool Museum, Carmarthenshire
  • Llanberis Slate Museum, Gwynedd

NMW said National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum and the National Waterfront Museum will remain open from 10:00 - 17:00 BST on Saturday and Sunday but may have reduced services; the National Slate Museum, National Wool Museum and Big Pit will close from 13:00 - 17:00 BST.

Newport's National Roman Legion Museum is not affected.

The NMW spokesman added: "Like many other public sector organisations, we have to make difficult decisions during these challenging economic times.

"Yet we remain committed to mitigating the impact on staff through increasing the basic pay for the lowest paid by at least 2%, introducing the 'living wage' and are considering ways to protect the payment of pensions."

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