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‘Reckless’ cuts put prized gallery at risk

THE worldwide reputation of London’s National Gallery is under threat as bosses set about privatising the jobs of hundreds of key staff.

Gallery management wants to “outsource” 400 jobs — and that could mean strike action over Christmas and the New Year, civil servants’ union PCS warned yesterday.

Among jobs at risk are the gallery’s assistants, who look after the paintings and help visitors and tourists.

PCS said the gallery has also gone back on a promise to introduce the London living wage this year.

An online petition to stop the privatisation has attracted more than 35,000 signatures.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said the management plans were “reckless and unnecessary” and would “risk the standing and reputation of one of our country’s most highly prized cultural assets.”

He added: “We are very disappointed that gallery bosses have walked away from the talks and it is deeply distressing for staff to be told, just before Christmas, they face being sold to the highest bidder.”

The online petition is at you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-privatisation-at-national-gallery.

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