Union members at the National Coal Mining Museum have gone on strike over pay today (Wednesday), forcing the museum to close until industrial action concludes on Sunday 30th October.

Unison’s Wakefield branch secretary Sam Greenwood said 94.4% of members, on a turnout of 87.8%, had voted in favour of action.

Members of the Wakefield branch of the Unison union today held a picket outside the Museum, supporting the workers on strike.

Greenwood told the Wakefield Express: “Last week we attended what we believed would be pay negotiations with the employer but museum representatives merely restated that pay offer that had previously been made and stated they were not prepared to improve upon it.

“Inflation is currently at 10 per cent and the museum’s offer is less than half of that.

“Members don’t want to go on strike but the museum is leaving them with no choice.”

In a statement, the Museum said it “cares about the welfare of its staff and volunteers” and has offered the staff a pay rise “which equates to 6.8% for the lowest paid staff”.

“We value the contribution of our people enormously and the sum of the proposal takes us to the maximum allowed within the Government Pay Remit.”

The museum said it still hopes to resolve the situation, adding that the action lands on school holidays, “which will deny our visitors, many of them children, the chance to hear the story of mining and understand the contribution generations of miners made to our nation.”

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