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Under the Microscope

The National Gallery anti-privatisation strike
...this leaflet looks more like a cynical attempt by a militant union to impose their own ideological beliefs i.e. public sector good - private sector bad (unless you work at the National Gallery where both are equally rubbish it seems).
Walking through Trafalgar Square on the way to work this morning, I was handed a leaflet by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) urging me to support their campaign against the privatisation of the National Gallery and the strike they are organising in protest. I duly read the leaflet with an open mind fully prepared to agree with what they had to say and, if I didn't, to explain why. 
Here is my assessment of their key claims:
CLAIM 1: 400 out of 600 National Gallery staff are due to be taken over (presumably their contracts and not their lives) by a private company, which has already been invited to take over the services in one third of the gallery without public consultation at a cost of £492,000.
Complaining that due process has not been followed for the outsourcing of a public service (if that is the case) seems a legitimate grievance to me, especially if it is paid for by taxpayers' money. However, that doesn't appear to be what the PCS are complaining about. In fact, the leaflet doesn't actually say anything about why the above is 'bad news'. It doesn't even appear to be the case that 400 staff are being laid off, they're just going to do the same job as before for someone else and no effort has been made to explain why this is a bad thing.
Conclusion: Fail
CLAIM 2: The National Gallery is the only major museum or gallery that does not pay its staff the London Living Wage and privatisation further threatens their pay and conditions.
OK, I'm more sympathetic to the first half of this statement. Sure, no laws are being broken by not paying the London Living Wage, but if most public sector organisations are paying it, a Conservative Mayor is endorsing it, and a lot of private companies are following suit, then there is clearly a strong consensus that it is necessary to afford a decent quality of life in London and the National Gallery's failure to pay it is certainly bad news for its staff.
As for the second half, there may (or may not) be evidence that private companies have a deserved reputation for paying their workers less than their public sector counterparts - but I imagine like in most of the private sector, pay is largely determined by supply and demand and is therefor subject to fluctuation. Unfortunately, the leaflet doesn't attempt to address this for us and just asserts it as it were unquestionably true.
However, that's not the worst thing about this claim. The worst thing is that this leaflet is all about the perils of privatisation even though, as the PCS itself admits, the pay and working conditions of the National Gallery's staff won't change when it is privatised, because they are already pretty bad.
So, surely - if their top concern is indeed to protect vulnerable and under-paid workers - they should be campaigning for them to be paid the London Living Wage WHOEVER is in charge, public or private. That would make for a more positive campaign rooted in a cause that most Londoners already agree with, which would give it a greater chance of succeeding.
Alas, to me this leaflet looks more like a cynical attempt by a militant union to exploit the plight of under-paid workers struggling to eek out a living, to impose their own ideological beliefs on the rest of us i.e. public sector good - private sector bad (unless you work at the National Gallery where both are equally rubbish it seems).
Conclusion: Epic fail
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