Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/368/6031
Defend jobs and services: Unite And Fight
Support the 5 November civil service strike
CIVIL SERVANTS across all government departments have voted to take part in a one-day strike on Friday 5 November.
Bernie Lyons, PCS union Bristol
Prospect and PCS members on the picket line. Photo Molly Cooper
65% voted to stand together and say 'yes' to take action against cuts in jobs and services. This represents a huge achievement for a membership that is spread widely across thousands of different offices and locations.
The strike action marks a new phase of the campaign to defend jobs and public services, following Chancellor Gordon Brown's TV announcement that 104,000 workers will lose their jobs. The government is also attacking the pension rights of its workers and fair pay for those who are sick.
Cuts are already taking place, beginning with the planned closure of 42 Department for Work and Pensions offices across England and Wales.
These closures will affect those in society who are sick, elderly and unemployed, as well as those who are low paid. This makes a mockery of the government's claims that cuts are being implemented in order to "improve front line services".
The action will be the first strike involving the entire civil service since 1993. Many of the workers involved have never taken part in a strike or a picket line before, but are keen to be active on the day itself.
The success of the ballot is already building confidence and unity in civil service workplaces and workers are determined to make their voices heard. One worker in Bristol said: "Before the action was planned I had booked some leave for that day, but now I will be cancelling it in order to support the strike".
UNISON members back strike
"RIGHT NOW PCS workers are leading the fight against public spending cuts. What they are facing will shortly be faced by the rest of the public sector.
The government is picking on civil servants just like they tried to pick on the firefighters.
Other trade unionists have not only got to give maximum support on 5 November. We have also got to press for coordinated action by other unions with the PCS on issues like attacks on our pension schemes."
Jean Thorpe, Chair Nottingham City UNISON
In The Socialist 30 October 2004:
International socialist news and analysis
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