Low-paid workers at the British Museum have voted overwhelmingly for strike action if plans go ahead to privatise their work.
Cleaners and maintenance staff represented by unions PCS and Unite fear that their pay and conditions could be seriously cut if rumoured plans to outsource their work go ahead.
PCS and Unite members voted by 90 per cent and 100 per cent respectively for a strike and they are now discussing dates for action - which could force parts of the museum to close.
Unite regional officer Carolyn Simpson said: "We now have a situation where members, who have been working at the museum for over 30 years, are being sold off like cattle."
PCS regional secretary Keith Johnston added: "We are determined to oppose these plans that would mean shareholders profiting from cutting both the conditions of already poorly paid cleaners and the quality of services to the public."