Blaenavon Big Pit workers strike over weekend pay cuts

On strike. PCS union members strike at Big Pit in Blaenavon. (9105658)

On strike. PCS union members strike at Big Pit in Blaenavon. (9105658)

First published in Gwent news by

EMPLOYEES at Blaenavon's Big Pit have been on strike this weekend following cuts to pensions and weekend pay.

The industrial action, which is planned to take place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon until the end of August, has seen 40 workers from the museum go on strike.

The workers are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union.

The industrial action follows the decision from the National Museum Wales to cut pay for weekend work and stop the money becoming part of their pensions. Staff at the Big Pit National Coal Museum are just one of several museum sites taking industrial action. Others include St Fagans National History Museum and the National Museum, both in Cardiff.

Peter Harding, representing PCS workers at Big Pit, said: "This will affect the catering staff, the cleaners as well as us the guides. They have decided to cut from the lowest paid workers.

"Managers haven't been affected at all. Some of the cleaning staff have three jobs to make ends meet - this will be a huge loss of money to them."

Mr Harding said guides currently receive £54 for working a Sunday shift and £30 for a Saturday shift. The museum is planning to cut these payments and PCS say this will mean a loss of £3,000 to staff who work weekends.

He said: "We've had a positive reaction from the general public - it's a shame that we've had to disappoint people who wanted to visit today. What they are telling us is to do the same work but they are going to be taking money away from us -this is affecting our pensions as well."

Peter Broome, who's been a guide for the past four years, said: "We get people from all over the world coming to visit. We've just had a bus full of Americans that we've had to turn away.

"It's a shame as we want to tell them all about the history and the heritage of this place and the suffering of miners. This is not possible because of the cuts."

He added: "Saturday and Sunday shifts tend to be a lot busier. We can get around 600 people on those days."

The museum workers will be on strike on August 16, 17, 23 and 24.

Comments (17)

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1:16pm Sun 10 Aug 14

golfer says...

Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ...
Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ... golfer
  • Score: -17

1:40pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Bobevans says...

Surely with tourist functions weekend working should be seen as standard as that will be the two busiest days
Surely with tourist functions weekend working should be seen as standard as that will be the two busiest days Bobevans
  • Score: -7

1:46pm Sun 10 Aug 14

gingertom says...

If they don't pay the proper rate and stop cutting pensions then the other alternative is for bob wellington and alison ward do a shift on alternate weekends.
If they don't pay the proper rate and stop cutting pensions then the other alternative is for bob wellington and alison ward do a shift on alternate weekends. gingertom
  • Score: 16

2:23pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Paxman's Army says...

But I don't understand. We have the money to put a giant fence up around a posh hotel. We have the money to put police all over the perimeter. We have the money to spend on a giant Newport bypass of just a couple miles. We have all this money. . and yet we can't afford to pay a proper wage to people who care for our heritage?
But I don't understand. We have the money to put a giant fence up around a posh hotel. We have the money to put police all over the perimeter. We have the money to spend on a giant Newport bypass of just a couple miles. We have all this money. . and yet we can't afford to pay a proper wage to people who care for our heritage? Paxman's Army
  • Score: 24

3:47pm Sun 10 Aug 14

landyman3030 says...

Paxman's Army wrote:
But I don't understand. We have the money to put a giant fence up around a posh hotel. We have the money to put police all over the perimeter. We have the money to spend on a giant Newport bypass of just a couple miles. We have all this money. . and yet we can't afford to pay a proper wage to people who care for our heritage?
So it is okay to for the WAG to find an EXTRA £1.5,000,000 to fund drop in learning centres for the Welsh language learners although the Welsh language action group moaned about the amount and want more and more. This paltry amount, they say, is an attack on the preservation of the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to.
Yet the National Museum for Wales think it is acceptable to cut the money from the lowest paid who maintain and actually teach people about the REAL culture of what working and living in Wales was like. And the Museum managers get away with it again. You couldn't make it up. Sadly.
[quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: But I don't understand. We have the money to put a giant fence up around a posh hotel. We have the money to put police all over the perimeter. We have the money to spend on a giant Newport bypass of just a couple miles. We have all this money. . and yet we can't afford to pay a proper wage to people who care for our heritage?[/p][/quote]So it is okay to for the WAG to find an EXTRA £1.5,000,000 to fund drop in learning centres for the Welsh language learners although the Welsh language action group moaned about the amount and want more and more. This paltry amount, they say, is an attack on the preservation of the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to. Yet the National Museum for Wales think it is acceptable to cut the money from the lowest paid who maintain and actually teach people about the REAL culture of what working and living in Wales was like. And the Museum managers get away with it again. You couldn't make it up. Sadly. landyman3030
  • Score: 29

3:53pm Sun 10 Aug 14

MikeO4O8 says...

golfer wrote:
Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ...
All if not most of these guides can not be properly replaced, from what I heard the guides are the people that used to actually work in this mine.

I wouldn't have been happy getting £30 for a Saturday shift, and why are the management not getting the cuts? If they can afford it why not go on strike every weekend until they put this right.

All they are doing is trying to get more money in their own pockets, bet they just brought a holiday home in Spain or something and need more money to help pay for it, and the miners are just their test subjects to see if they can get a way with it.
[quote][p][bold]golfer[/bold] wrote: Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ...[/p][/quote]All if not most of these guides can not be properly replaced, from what I heard the guides are the people that used to actually work in this mine. I wouldn't have been happy getting £30 for a Saturday shift, and why are the management not getting the cuts? If they can afford it why not go on strike every weekend until they put this right. All they are doing is trying to get more money in their own pockets, bet they just brought a holiday home in Spain or something and need more money to help pay for it, and the miners are just their test subjects to see if they can get a way with it. MikeO4O8
  • Score: 9

5:34pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Paxman's Army says...

Landyman. . . you wrote "the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to."

In Wales I would hope people have access to Welsh culture. In fact, I would agree. . we should insist people have access to Welsh culture in Wales. But it's a good point you make. It's obvious the money is there. . to fund all of these things for our heritage - language (soaring in popularity in South Wales as the demand for school places grow), historical sites, and environment. We could do all of these things. . AND give ourselves an extra hospital, if only WG wouldn't spend so much on a 7.5 mile bypass just because drivers won't slow down. Yes I agree.
Landyman. . . you wrote "the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to." In Wales I would hope people have access to Welsh culture. In fact, I would agree. . we should insist people have access to Welsh culture in Wales. But it's a good point you make. It's obvious the money is there. . to fund all of these things for our heritage - language (soaring in popularity in South Wales as the demand for school places grow), historical sites, and environment. We could do all of these things. . AND give ourselves an extra hospital, if only WG wouldn't spend so much on a 7.5 mile bypass just because drivers won't slow down. Yes I agree. Paxman's Army
  • Score: 5

5:43pm Sun 10 Aug 14

twangstring says...

On the subject of the bypass, pax, why are we even thinking of paying for it when we all pay road tax and fuel duty? We'll be paying twice. Wales must be a laughing stock.
On the subject of the bypass, pax, why are we even thinking of paying for it when we all pay road tax and fuel duty? We'll be paying twice. Wales must be a laughing stock. twangstring
  • Score: 4

6:08pm Sun 10 Aug 14

landyman3030 says...

Paxman's Army wrote:
Landyman. . . you wrote "the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to."

In Wales I would hope people have access to Welsh culture. In fact, I would agree. . we should insist people have access to Welsh culture in Wales. But it's a good point you make. It's obvious the money is there. . to fund all of these things for our heritage - language (soaring in popularity in South Wales as the demand for school places grow), historical sites, and environment. We could do all of these things. . AND give ourselves an extra hospital, if only WG wouldn't spend so much on a 7.5 mile bypass just because drivers won't slow down. Yes I agree.
I would have to dispute the soaring in popularity in South Wales as an exaggeration. You show me a Newport child who wants Welsh medium education and I'll show you a Welsh language class in English medium school apathetic to the enforced system of learning. But that's another debate.
Culture is available to all as all museums are free to enter.
Best decision ever if you ask me.
This is yet another Caerphilly Council mindset. Cut the workers pay but the management are untouchable. Intolerable.
And I agree with you over the road scheme 100%.
Go on a speed awareness course and you will see that ALL accidents are attributable to excess speed and due care. But that's another debate.
[quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: Landyman. . . you wrote "the Welsh Culture that they INSIST everybody should have access to." In Wales I would hope people have access to Welsh culture. In fact, I would agree. . we should insist people have access to Welsh culture in Wales. But it's a good point you make. It's obvious the money is there. . to fund all of these things for our heritage - language (soaring in popularity in South Wales as the demand for school places grow), historical sites, and environment. We could do all of these things. . AND give ourselves an extra hospital, if only WG wouldn't spend so much on a 7.5 mile bypass just because drivers won't slow down. Yes I agree.[/p][/quote]I would have to dispute the soaring in popularity in South Wales as an exaggeration. You show me a Newport child who wants Welsh medium education and I'll show you a Welsh language class in English medium school apathetic to the enforced system of learning. But that's another debate. Culture is available to all as all museums are free to enter. Best decision ever if you ask me. This is yet another Caerphilly Council mindset. Cut the workers pay but the management are untouchable. Intolerable. And I agree with you over the road scheme 100%. Go on a speed awareness course and you will see that ALL accidents are attributable to excess speed and due care. But that's another debate. landyman3030
  • Score: 6

9:15pm Sun 10 Aug 14

DGee123 says...

Great, now we'll have less tourists next year and managers will have better reasons to cut pay. Just had to tell my visiting friends next week that I can't take them there. That's money that the town of Blaenavon has lost, not to loss of reputation. It would've been a lot better if they could've gone home at the end of the weekend telling everyone they know what a fantastic weekend they had in Wales, rather than "We couldn't do the coal mine trip because they were on strike!"
Great, now we'll have less tourists next year and managers will have better reasons to cut pay. Just had to tell my visiting friends next week that I can't take them there. That's money that the town of Blaenavon has lost, not to loss of reputation. It would've been a lot better if they could've gone home at the end of the weekend telling everyone they know what a fantastic weekend they had in Wales, rather than "We couldn't do the coal mine trip because they were on strike!" DGee123
  • Score: 5

9:43pm Sun 10 Aug 14

gingertom says...

https://www.assembly
wales.org/epetition-
list-of-signatories.
htm?pet_id=1031
https://www.assembly wales.org/epetition- list-of-signatories. htm?pet_id=1031 gingertom
  • Score: -1

9:44pm Sun 10 Aug 14

Paxman's Army says...

Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo.
Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo. Paxman's Army
  • Score: -9

11:39pm Sun 10 Aug 14

landyman3030 says...

Paxman's Army wrote:
Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo.
I read the papers. I read the statistics published by the census, the WAG, Cwmdeithus, Newport LEA and any other source of information that can be published so that I can try to be as informed as I can be about issues that directly relate to my children's education. I also have trusted friends who work in local government, the education system and who have children in different English and Welsh medium schools at varying levels.
Everybody can skew statistics to suit their sides of the debate, from skills to fluency, from ATM figures to S4C figures, from National Savings Bonds to Eisteddfod costs and benefits to the community.
I am all for Welsh culture being preserved for the future. History and language are all important.
More important is reading, writing, maths and my child's practical ability to qualify for a job in the real world.
Our education system is unable to deliver the basics and is failing our children wasting their time in class with constantly changing curriculum, wasted days teacher training and unprepared supply teachers covering long term with no chance of a full time job so are unmotivated to provide continuity. Oh, but it's okay to charge parents £120 per child for one holiday when in fact my children did nothing but tidy classrooms and watch DVDs for the entire last week before summer holidays.
But then the WAG needs all the funding it can get in addition to the £15,000,000,000,000 it receives annually. Why? Well it has to fund the airport and free prescriptions and the opportunity to go to England for an operation because the welsh NHS and Ambulance Trust is a joke.
And at the end of it all, I take it with a pinch of salt to allow for the lies and make my own mind up.
So of course I read the papers. I just don't believe everything I read in them.
[quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo.[/p][/quote]I read the papers. I read the statistics published by the census, the WAG, Cwmdeithus, Newport LEA and any other source of information that can be published so that I can try to be as informed as I can be about issues that directly relate to my children's education. I also have trusted friends who work in local government, the education system and who have children in different English and Welsh medium schools at varying levels. Everybody can skew statistics to suit their sides of the debate, from skills to fluency, from ATM figures to S4C figures, from National Savings Bonds to Eisteddfod costs and benefits to the community. I am all for Welsh culture being preserved for the future. History and language are all important. More important is reading, writing, maths and my child's practical ability to qualify for a job in the real world. Our education system is unable to deliver the basics and is failing our children wasting their time in class with constantly changing curriculum, wasted days teacher training and unprepared supply teachers covering long term with no chance of a full time job so are unmotivated to provide continuity. Oh, but it's okay to charge parents £120 per child for one holiday when in fact my children did nothing but tidy classrooms and watch DVDs for the entire last week before summer holidays. But then the WAG needs all the funding it can get in addition to the £15,000,000,000,000 it receives annually. Why? Well it has to fund the airport and free prescriptions and the opportunity to go to England for an operation because the welsh NHS and Ambulance Trust is a joke. And at the end of it all, I take it with a pinch of salt to allow for the lies and make my own mind up. So of course I read the papers. I just don't believe everything I read in them. landyman3030
  • Score: 12

7:14am Mon 11 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

landyman3030 wrote:
Paxman's Army wrote:
Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo.
I read the papers. I read the statistics published by the census, the WAG, Cwmdeithus, Newport LEA and any other source of information that can be published so that I can try to be as informed as I can be about issues that directly relate to my children's education. I also have trusted friends who work in local government, the education system and who have children in different English and Welsh medium schools at varying levels.
Everybody can skew statistics to suit their sides of the debate, from skills to fluency, from ATM figures to S4C figures, from National Savings Bonds to Eisteddfod costs and benefits to the community.
I am all for Welsh culture being preserved for the future. History and language are all important.
More important is reading, writing, maths and my child's practical ability to qualify for a job in the real world.
Our education system is unable to deliver the basics and is failing our children wasting their time in class with constantly changing curriculum, wasted days teacher training and unprepared supply teachers covering long term with no chance of a full time job so are unmotivated to provide continuity. Oh, but it's okay to charge parents £120 per child for one holiday when in fact my children did nothing but tidy classrooms and watch DVDs for the entire last week before summer holidays.
But then the WAG needs all the funding it can get in addition to the £15,000,000,000,000 it receives annually. Why? Well it has to fund the airport and free prescriptions and the opportunity to go to England for an operation because the welsh NHS and Ambulance Trust is a joke.
And at the end of it all, I take it with a pinch of salt to allow for the lies and make my own mind up.
So of course I read the papers. I just don't believe everything I read in them.
Spot on but logic is wasted on the dewy-eyed believers I'm afraid. One sometimes wishes that Welsh independence was a reality so that the hard choices were forced on WAG instead of watching them constantly burning other people's money and then blaming Westminster for not having enough of it.
[quote][p][bold]landyman3030[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Paxman's Army[/bold] wrote: Landyman. . . well we can change the subject all you want. . but the fact of the matter is the popularity of Welsh medium schools are soaring in South Wales. There are waiting lists for children. . and the attendance has become so high, that there needs to be another one built ASAP. Haven't you been reading the papers? I suppose it's due to someone doing something right saving an important chunk of heritage. You know. . making sure the culture is available to all. . .like you said. But save your breath for a Welsh language post, kiddo.[/p][/quote]I read the papers. I read the statistics published by the census, the WAG, Cwmdeithus, Newport LEA and any other source of information that can be published so that I can try to be as informed as I can be about issues that directly relate to my children's education. I also have trusted friends who work in local government, the education system and who have children in different English and Welsh medium schools at varying levels. Everybody can skew statistics to suit their sides of the debate, from skills to fluency, from ATM figures to S4C figures, from National Savings Bonds to Eisteddfod costs and benefits to the community. I am all for Welsh culture being preserved for the future. History and language are all important. More important is reading, writing, maths and my child's practical ability to qualify for a job in the real world. Our education system is unable to deliver the basics and is failing our children wasting their time in class with constantly changing curriculum, wasted days teacher training and unprepared supply teachers covering long term with no chance of a full time job so are unmotivated to provide continuity. Oh, but it's okay to charge parents £120 per child for one holiday when in fact my children did nothing but tidy classrooms and watch DVDs for the entire last week before summer holidays. But then the WAG needs all the funding it can get in addition to the £15,000,000,000,000 it receives annually. Why? Well it has to fund the airport and free prescriptions and the opportunity to go to England for an operation because the welsh NHS and Ambulance Trust is a joke. And at the end of it all, I take it with a pinch of salt to allow for the lies and make my own mind up. So of course I read the papers. I just don't believe everything I read in them.[/p][/quote]Spot on but logic is wasted on the dewy-eyed believers I'm afraid. One sometimes wishes that Welsh independence was a reality so that the hard choices were forced on WAG instead of watching them constantly burning other people's money and then blaming Westminster for not having enough of it. Stevenboy
  • Score: 9

9:44am Mon 11 Aug 14

CountyValleyboy says...

golfer wrote:
Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ...
You HAVE to be a ex miner to be a guide at Big Pit. Not many of those under 50 around now!------
[quote][p][bold]golfer[/bold] wrote: Just remember your only a clock number and replaceable ..only recently bright house on Ebbw vale had 400 applicants for 6 jobs ..your not going to win in this day of job fights ...[/p][/quote]You HAVE to be a ex miner to be a guide at Big Pit. Not many of those under 50 around now!------ CountyValleyboy
  • Score: 5

10:24am Mon 11 Aug 14

-trigg- says...

The solution to these funding issues is obvious - they need to change the name of the place - what's Welsh for 'Big Pit'? That would get all the welsh language types on board, along with apparently limitless cash.
The solution to these funding issues is obvious - they need to change the name of the place - what's Welsh for 'Big Pit'? That would get all the welsh language types on board, along with apparently limitless cash. -trigg-
  • Score: 7

10:49am Mon 11 Aug 14

Stevenboy says...

-trigg- wrote:
The solution to these funding issues is obvious - they need to change the name of the place - what's Welsh for 'Big Pit'? That would get all the welsh language types on board, along with apparently limitless cash.
Liking your style but with the 'Welsh language types' it's usually other people's cash. Hence the huge subsidies for the Eisteddfod, learning centres, TV channel, etc
[quote][p][bold]-trigg-[/bold] wrote: The solution to these funding issues is obvious - they need to change the name of the place - what's Welsh for 'Big Pit'? That would get all the welsh language types on board, along with apparently limitless cash.[/p][/quote]Liking your style but with the 'Welsh language types' it's usually other people's cash. Hence the huge subsidies for the Eisteddfod, learning centres, TV channel, etc Stevenboy
  • Score: 5

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