Members of Prospect, which represents curators, conservators, technical staff and managers at the museum, were joined on the picket lines by colleagues from the Public and Commercial Services union. They are protesting against the 2.5% offer for 2004 and the funding crisis facing the three museums that collectively make up the National Museum of Science and Industry.
The National Railway Museum in York and the Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford remained open but with only a skeleton staff, leading to rides on the popular Thomas the Tank Engine exhibit at York being stopped due to safety concerns.
Prospect negotiator Emily Boase said: "Our members regret any inconvenience caused but feel that they have no other option than to take industrial action. Today’s strike demonstrates the strength of feeling among members at the museum, not only over a derisory pay offer, but against the background of the wider financial crisis that threatens the quality of exhibits and reputation of this much loved institution. We will continue to defend it in every way we can."