Strike vote at RSC Barbican

Members at the Royal Shakespeare's London base have voted for industrial action.

A dispute over plans by the Royal Shakespeare Company to move out of the Barbican led to 93% of BECTU members supporting strike action.

Union representatives are now considering tactical and legal issues before announcing if a strike will be called. Under UK labour laws, industrial action must commence within four weeks of a ballot closing.

The row over closure of the RSC's operation at the Central London Barbican theatre complex started in May when the company announced a major change of strategy, with more tours, and London productions all being staged in West End locations.

Members at the Stratford home base of the RSC were also affected by the change, but the union managed to win an agreement with the company offering a range of protective guarantees for members.

However, at the Barbican, where the union fears that up to two thirds of staff could be laid off, the management were unwilling to give any guarantees about future employment opportunities for staff who were made redundant, nor could they confirm the status of those who might be transferred to the books of the Barbican complex itself.

The industrial action ballot closed on November 9.

12 November 2001