Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 31 March 2010

PCS: Striking against government attacks

Wrexham PCS workers on strike, photo Andrew McCoy

Wrexham PCS workers on strike, photo Andrew McCoy   (Click to enlarge)

Following the tremendous civil service two-day strike on 8 and 9 March, PCS members once again demonstrated their anger at the government's attempt to rip up their contracts under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme. On budget day - 24 March - PCS members again took strike action and the message to Brown, Jowell and the Cabinet Office was clear - PCS will continue its campaign until there is a negotiated settlement.

John McInally, Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) national vice-president, personal capacity

Chancellor Alistair Darling crossed PCS picket lines to deliver his budget speech. Many areas reported increased participation in this action, and the Department for Work and Pensions group has recruited 1,200 new PCS members since the campaign began.

PCS members know this dispute is about more than defending redundancy payment terms, it is about defending jobs and services and preventing privatisation. Whoever wins the election will target the civil service for major cuts: all the main political parties agree working and middle-class people must pay for the economic mess made by the banks and the unregulated free market.

Striking Sheffield civil servants, members of PCS, photo R Faulds

Striking Sheffield civil servants, members of PCS, photo R Faulds   (Click to enlarge)

Hidden in the detail of Darling's plans is the shocking truth Labour is seeking to hide from working class voters - cuts of up to 25% in some departments, far deeper than anything under Thatcher. Our dispute is an important early sign of workers' struggles to resist and reverse the political establishment's plans for a decade of "austerity" - which will mean misery for most in society.

The hypocrisy of Brown and Labour ministers calling for negotiations to settle the British Airways and rail disputes, while refusing to negotiate with their own workforce, has angered many, including Labour MPs.

165 MPs, the vast majority Labour, have now signed the Early Day Motion supporting the union's position. These MPs understand that to attack low-paid workers in the run-up to a general election will mean that civil servants who are unlikely to vote Tory are more likely not to vote at all, endangering the seats of Labour MPs in marginal constituencies.

The exposure of appalling Stephen "cab for hire" Byers, architect of New Labour and unprincipled low-life, who was prepared to use his 'contacts' as a former minister to line his own pockets, could not be a sharper contrast with hard working and low paid civil servants.

PCS workers on strike and protesting outside the Welsh Assembly, photo Cardiff Socialist Party

PCS workers on strike and protesting outside the Welsh Assembly, photo Cardiff Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

PCS's national executive committee (NEC) met after the strike to plan the next stages of the campaign. April's NEC will consider further industrial action in relation to any announcements on the general election date. The government is the employer so there may be an issue as to whether there is actually anyone to negotiate with for a period of time. The national overtime ban will be extended until 14 May and departmental groups will be asked to draw up plans for disruptive action and work-to-rules.

PCS's political campaigning will be stepped up. This high profile activity will include targeting ministerial and marginal constituencies, including a national tour of our "battle bus" to such constituencies and larger workplaces. If ministers think we are going to ground until the election is over then they are in for a rude awakening. We will expose their treatment of low-paid workers and their plans to make us pay for the crisis caused by their friends in the City.

PCS is also continuing with its legal challenge to the redundancy scheme cuts. The government is running scared and they have used the most cynical delaying tactics to have it put back until April, but PCS will have its day in court, as well as its days on the picket lines. PCS will use all available methods to build the pressure until there is a fair and acceptable negotiated settlement.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 31 March 2010:

We will not pay!

Help fund Socialist Party campaigns

Stop the cuts, build a socialist alternative

PCS strike action

PCS: Striking against government attacks

PCS budget day strike: Support grows across country

Transport strikes

BA cabin crew strike: 'We shall not be moved'

Fight the decimation of London tube jobs

Network Rail dispute: RMT signalworker speaks to The Socialist

Workplace news in brief

NUT conference

NUT conference: fight cuts and excessive workload

Socialist elected to NUT executive

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Standing against cuts and privatisation

Socialist Party news and analysis

Yorkshire on the campaign trail

Developing a strategy to defeat the far-right

Waltham Forest: on march against redundancies

Cameron shows Tories still anti-gay

Council cuts: Grim Reaper moving to Surrey

Lewisham councillors' record

News in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Terror returns to Moscow For workers' unity against terror, repression, racism and capitalism

Eurozone crisis: Hanging together or hanging separately


Future Jobs scam: attacks on young unemployed

Southampton University protest

May Day march in Hull: Rebuilding traditions of struggle

Socialist Party review

When We Were Miners


Home   |   The Socialist 31 March 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDriving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita


triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts


triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

triangleWestminster sexual harassment scandal

triangleWestminster sexual harassment scandal: symptom of a rotten system


triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Civil Service:

trianglePCS pay cap ballot closes soon

John McInally:

triangleIncreased majority for Democracy Alliance

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers


North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice