Dear Friends,

I had heard rumours, as perhaps you all had too, that a strike
threatened the BL but as time passed I heard no more, I decided that
the dispute must has been settled..... I was wrong. And with March
Break and reading weeks coming up in North America, I thought I had
better get the word out.

From the BL's web site:

"It is with great regret that the British Library announces that the
Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) union has taken the
decision to withdraw from talks with ACAS and to begin strike action,
without the seven day notice to which they had committed, as from
Monday 8th March.

"This action means that the reading rooms at St Pancras will be closed
from Monday 8th-Saturday 13th March inclusive and that the Library
will review the options for re-opening during that week and will make
further anouncements as soon as possible.

"We repeat the very great regret with which we make this announcement
at such short notice, and apologise to all those readers and users
whose work is being disrupted by the union's actions.

"Up to date information will be available from the BL website
( and from Reader Services: Tel 0171 412 7676

"5 March 1999"

One of our editors (Jim Gibson, Kent) in the UK also reports after an
abortive trip to St Pancras: "The bookhandlers at the BL are on strike
as of today over the issue of bonus pay for the move to St. Pancras.
Negotiations with the library management have broken down, and
according to the newspaper tonight the union is talking about
industrial action running through March into April."

So if you are planning a research trip to the UK in the near future,
check with the BL beforehand!


Abigail Ann Young (Dr), Associate Editor/ Records of Early English Drama/
Victoria College/ 150 Charles Street W/ Toronto Ontario Canada
Phone (416) 585-4504/ FAX (416) 585-4594/ [log in to unmask]
List-owner of REED-L <> => REED's home page => our theatre resource page => my home page