FORMER miners will once again be joining the picket line as they walk out over proposed cuts to pay and pensions at Big Pit this weekend.

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members who work at the seven National Museum Wales sites, including Big Pit in Blaenavon and The National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, will be taking part in the industrial action after proposals were made to cut extra pay for weekend and bank holiday shifts.

The industrial action is planned to take place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon until the end of August, beginning at 1pm this Saturday.There are 47 PCS union members at Big Pit, including former miners who now act as underground tour guides at the museum. This year marks 30 years since the Miners’ Strike.

Union members in St Fagans National History Museum, National Museum Cardiff at Cathays Park, Swansea Waterfront Museum, Drefach Wool Museum and Llanberis Slate Museum will also be walking out this Saturday.

Neil Harrison, PCS branch chair at the National Museum, said: “Management’s proposals would see staff who work weekends lose up to £1,000 and nearly 10 per cent off their final pension entitlement.

“We don’t take strike action lightly and we regret any inconvenience to the public but museum bosses have left us little option.”

A spokeswoman for National Museum Wales said: “We have been and are continuing to consult with staff, trade unions and other partners on a number of proposals regarding these allowances.

“The National Roman Legion Museum will be unaffected. National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum and the National Waterfront Museum will remain open from 10am to 5pm but may have reduced services from 1pm.

“The National Slate Museum, National Wool Museum and Big Pit National Coal Museum will be closed from 1pm to 5pm.”