Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/786/17663
No offshoring Shared Services!
PCS members who work in Shared Services, providing common services for government departments, are being threatened with privatisation on 1 November.
They were on strike on 25 October. Despite atrocious weather in the north-east, picket lines at Benton Park View and Defra Alnwick were upbeat and well supported.
Steria, the company involved, has confirmed that if the transfer goes ahead it will sack staff, close sites and offshore much of the work.
At Benton Park View Michael Bennett, a PCS rep, explained that: "One in five of us could be out of a job.
"At times like this, with an economic crisis, it's a worry not knowing if you'll have a job or not."
The privateering company Steria was on-site on the day of the strike. DWP group president Fran Heathcote, said that: "Steria could be in no doubt about the strength of feeling of PCS members, the vast majority of whom stayed away from work.
"Members are determined to protect their jobs, terms and conditions and prevent jobs going overseas".
Regional secretary Simon Elliot pointed out: "We hope to send them a strong message that most of their potential staff won't be at work today, that we disapprove of their takeover of this work and are very much opposed to the privatisation and off-shoring of shared services."
The picket line showed they were well supported by other PCS members. Fran Heathcote pointed out: "PCS has already won struggles which have protected staff at Siemens and prevented offshoring at Hewlett Packard, and we will fight just as hard for our shared services members".
All trade union reps spoke in a personal capacity
In The Socialist 30 October 2013:
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