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Art :: Theatre
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Protesters brandished signs stating the basic demand of 'save every job'. This is the collective message of the organisers. However, one sign resonated loudly for me, it read: 'Theatre is more than just buildings, its people'.
Thousands of jobs are at stake. To name but a few: Exeter Northcott Theatre, 50% of staff; Tobacco Factory in Bristol, 70% of staff; London's National Theatre, 400 staff - not to mention the losses at regional theatres and venues across Wales.
Hopes were raised when it was announced that a £59 million rescue package for arts and heritage was heading to Wales. However, with redundancies already taking place, announcements around the rescue package have been slow and fraught with confusion.
The idea of a union supporting an entire workforce within an organisation does not seem to exist. There are specific unions for performers, but the industry is so much more than that. The key is immediate action for the industry to become unionised, and a concerted effort must be made to ensure that this happens.
The current emergency needs action. There are no guarantees that any job is safe as a result of this fund. And there is no word from the Welsh Government on whether it intends to use this fund to protect livelihoods.
If you are waiting on the announcement before you speak up, the opportunity may be lost, along with thousands of jobs. The time is now.
National Gallery (28)
National Museum of Wales (5)
Article dated 13 July 2020
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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