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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2007

MAY DAY STRIKE

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

PCS on strike 1 May 2007, photo Paul Mattsson

FIGHTING FOR JOBS, PAY AND SERVICES

OVER 200,000 civil servants in the PCS took strike action on May Day, in defence of jobs, pay and services. Many workplaces were closed or had a severely reduced service, including job centres, courts and Revenue and Customs offices. Most of the London museums and galleries were closed.

Chris Newby and Hugh Caffrey

This action was part of the PCS's campaign of strike action and action 'short of a strike' for pay increases that at least meet the rate of inflation, against the 100,000 civil service job losses the government wants to make, and in defence of all the vital services to the public that civil servants provide.

"We're not ashamed to be fighting for jobs and services," angry pickets at Trinity Bridge House in Manchester told a trickle of scabs.

Their near-solid strike and solid ongoing overtime ban involving 1,800 staff has clearly rattled managers who sent one thuggish scab out to try (and fail) to intimidate pickets.

On last week's overtime ban picket line at this workplace, someone was nearly run over by a scab but when workers complained, the CCTV footage had "disappeared".

Speaking at the South East region TUC May Day rally in Trafalgar Square, general secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka, explained that the government will not improve public services if at the same time it cuts jobs.

He called for a national demonstration to be organised of hundreds of thousands of workers from the entire public sector, to say 'enough is enough': "Public sector workers marching together can make the government change its mind... We will carry on campaigning until the government stops these attacks... It's time for the government to change course, to stop sacking employees and to stop privatising".

The government is attacking workers across the board and PCS members are in the forefront of building a united fight-back. Many strikers agreed with the Campaign for a New Workers' Party and bought copies of the socialist, with their attitude summed up by one worker in Manchester who said: "because at this rate Gordon Brown could well be worse".

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In The Socialist 3 May 2007:

2007 election analysis: Time for a new workers' party

Scottish Elections: Labour rocked as SNP wins


Socialist Party election campaign

NHS cuts... privatisation... widening wealth gap

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: A matter of life and death in Swansea

Fat cats eye the cream


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Fighting for jobs, pay and services

Picketing the Tate Modern


Socialist Party editorial

Widening wealth gap needs working-class response


Socialist Party election campaign

Packed election rally for Scotland's Solidarity

Irish election - Socialist Party takes on the establishment

New Labour panics and resorts to lies

Yorkshire ISR and Socialist Students day of action


Global Warming

Alternative energy: Winds of change?


Education

Stop these education cuts


Socialist Students

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Seattle students walkout against the Iraq war

Pressure mounts for troops withdrawal


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Russia April 1917: Lenin returns from exile


Comment

Women must have the right to choose!


Socialist Party news and analysis

What 'public-private partnerships really mean

Campaigning for LGBT rights

Oppose legal aid contracts tooth and nail


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Sunvic strikers

Greenwich workers fight on

Remember the dead but fight for the living

The scandal of HSE cuts


 

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