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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2004

PCS Strike Ballot

Vote 'Yes' To Defend Jobs And Services

CIVIL SERVICE union PCS members are balloting for a one-day strike to defend jobs and services. Meetings are taking place all over the country.
 Marion Lloyd, PCS National Executive Committee member and chair of the Department for Education and Skills PCS branch in Sheffield spoke to the socialist about how the campaign is going.

"At a meeting in Sheffield I explained that a national attack from the government demanded a national response. It is crucial that civil service workers up and down the country demonstrate to the government that we aren't a soft option. That we're prepared to demonstrate massive opposition to job cuts and the attacks on our pensions and sick leave entitlements, together with cuts to essential services which would be decimated in the process.

PCS members in Sheffield have a proud tradition of supporting other workers in struggle and have collected 100's for the William Cook's workers, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and most recently striking Sheffield bus drivers.

So a speaker from the FBU was particularly inspiring. He said he was glad to have the opportunity to return the solidarity we have shown them. Responding to a question about public opinion, he said that having public opinion on your side would be nice, but it's not that which is going to win our dispute. It will be solidarity between civil service workers standing side by side that will win the dispute and that's why it's important that PCS members vote 'yes'!

He went on to say that the FBU locally will do everything they can to support us and that he will raise our dispute in the 28 members' meetings he's got in the Yorkshire area in the next couple of weeks.

I've been speaking at meetings with big turnouts of PCS members in London, the Birmingham area and Yorkshire and Humberside and I haven't found one member who is opposed to the idea of a one-day strike.

When I say that there's a bit of a lottery going on between the three main political parties about who can cut the most civil service jobs, members ask questions about the union's relationship to the Labour Party. One person today asked me if we were affiliated, when I said 'no' he said if we had been he'd campaign for us to disaffiliate!

Others say: 'Who the hell are we going to vote for in the next election?' So I've said: 'That's why we need an alternative.'

Our campaign is about saving jobs and protecting public services. We must prevent job cuts for the sake of our members and the public - these are the people who need high quality, accountable public services."

Fight The Cuts

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In The Socialist 16 October 2004:

A Socialist World Is Possible

PCS Strike Ballot: Vote 'Yes' To Defend Jobs And Services


International socialist news and analysis

Iraq - Withdraw The Troops

'Solid' General Strike in Nigeria Shows Fury At Elite


Pensions

Fight Back Against A Future Of Pension Poverty

A Socialist Guide To The ESF


European Social Forum

The Socialist Party at the ESF:

Did The Anti-War Movement Fail?

CWI - Building Socialism Worldwide

How a socialist economy would work

Workers Must Fight Attacks On Living Standards

Italy - Mass Struggle And The Forces Of The Left

International Socialist Resistance: Get Organised And Fight For Socialism


International socialist news and analysis

The Lessons Of Chile 1970-73

International Workers' Solidarity

US Elections: Putting An Alternative


 

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