Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/524/3879
The PCS picket line at Swansea's coastguard station in the Mumbles may have had the most stunning backdrop ever; rolling waves crashing against the cliffs, but the determined mood and anger of the strikers matched any industrial dispute! Alec Thraves spoke to the strikers:
"We are on strike against the government's public-sector pay policy but also because we believe our work is equivalent to other emergency services that get paid a great deal more than us. The government-commissioned pay comparability studies over the past few years have all said the same thing, that our pay needs to be increased alongside other emergency services but as yet every single one of them has been ignored.
"We've never been on strike before in our 180-year history but everyone has just had enough and we want fair pay. Some of our members actually had a pay increase a few months ago because management was paying them less than the legal minimum wage!
"Amongst union members we have got 100% support for our one-day strike with just a couple of non-union members going in. We are determined to win this strike and hope the public will fully back us up when they realise the poverty pay our coastguards are trying to survive on."
The front page article of the Socialist reporting on PCS members' battle against the government's pay freeze was particularly welcomed with five out of the six pickets buying a copy.
In The Socialist 12 March 2008:
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Post Office closures
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news
Socialist Party review