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Glasgow museums closed by pay strike

6 May 10 11:43 GMT

Some of Scotland's busiest museums and galleries have closed for the second time in seven days in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

The 24-hour walkout by the Unison, Unite, GMB and Bectu unions has closed the Kelvingrove Museum, the Burrell Collection and the People's Palace.

The venues are all run by the charity Culture and Sport Glasgow.

The organisation has said it needs to freeze wages and cut overtime in a bid to save jobs and services.

The strike action, involving about 1,600 unions members, has also shut all libraries, museums and community centres run by Culture and Sport Glasgow.

The unions have been barred, however, from holding picket lines outside buildings that are being used as polling stations in the general election.

Glasgow City Council won a legal ruling on Wednesday banning picket lines from polling stations between 0700 and 2300 BST.

Brian Smith, Unison's Glasgow branch secretary, said the strike was going well.

"We've had very strong participation by the members across the four unions, so we are pleased the members have turned out," he said.

"The intention of the strike is to shut down Culture and Sport Glasgow."

He added that it was never the union's intention to disrupt voting in Glasgow.

He said: "The strike was never intended to interfere with the election and only 13 buildings are being used as polling stations. We were never going to try and stop people from voting."

Minimise disruption

Mr Smith said the union would meet again on Wednesday to decide whether to take further action.

Culture and Sport Glasgow is a charity which runs sport and leisure services for the city.

A spokesman said the organisation would try to minimise disruption caused by the action. The public are advised to check its website for any closures.

The spokesman added: "Around one in seven of our staff voted for strike action and the trade unions are fully aware that the public sector is not immune from the current financial crisis.

"We have consistently made it clear that our priority is to protect both services and jobs.

"In order to make the savings necessary to achieve this, we must change the way we work - or be forced to consider job cuts."

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