Wales

New National Library boss says museum strike threatens other institutions

Museum staff gathered outside the Swansea's National Waterfront
Image caption Museum staff gathered outside the Swansea's National Waterfront Museum in August

The strike at the National Museum could damage some of Wales' other national institutions, according to the new president of the National Library.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas warned that the Welsh Government could "penalise those who have been successful" in resolving workers' disputes.

He said the library dealt with the issue of weekend working 12 years ago.

The National Museum said they are "still seeking a solution" to the strike.

The comments came as the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) strike enters its second month.

Mr Thomas, a former heritage minister, told BBC Wales' Newyddion 9 programme: "Where's the money going to come from?

"Is the Welsh Government going to reward failure and penalise those who have been successful? It raises a number of issues, but ultimately the Welsh Government have to have a strategy in terms of national institutions."

The strike has affected museum sites across Wales. The wool museum at Drefach Felindre and the slate museum in Llanberis have been the most consistent to close.

Since indefinite action was announced at the end of April, between 180 and 190 workers have not worked at all.

Image copyright BBC/Google
Image caption The new National Library of Wales president Rhodri Glyn Thomas said the strike could 'penalise' the library

Negotiations

Since the assembly election the Welsh Government has been part of the negotiations to settle the dispute - with the PCS believing that those discussions would pave the way to an agreement.

But it has not happened so far.

In a statement, the National Museum said: "We have met with the Welsh Government and the PCS over recent weeks to try and reach an agreement and bring the dispute over weekend working allowances (Premium Payments) to a conclusion.

"Though the meetings were useful, giving all parties an opportunity to set out their position, it was clearly communicated at the end of those discussions that no agreement had yet been reached.

"We are still seeking a solution and we hope to reach an agreement that is acceptable for all parties soon."

The Welsh Government did not respond to Mr Thomas' comments, but confirmed that Heritage Minister Ken Skates recently met with representatives from the PCS and the museum.

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