The Socialist

The Socialist 21 October 2008

‘Why not save our jobs?’


'Why not save our jobs?'

Socialist measures to fight capitalist crisis


Rally For Socialism 2008

Socialism 2008 details pdf

Socialism 2008 - book here

Socialism 2008 website


Keynesianism now trumpeted


Liverpool: Mass protest wins back the right to campaign!

Demonstrators stop fascist march

42-day detention dropped - for now


PCS members vote to strike

Fight for jobs at JCB

Striking against academies

Protest at disciplinary action against teachers

Fast News


Bangor students vote to fight fees

Fighting for youth in Lewisham

Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action

Kirklees: The battle to save our schools heats up


NHS props up the private profiteers

We can't afford private rail. Nationalise the railways now!


Iceland: A victim of the casino economy

Aer Lingus threatens to axe 1,500 posts


Persepolis, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Black Power Salute (BBC 4)

 
 

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PCS members vote to strike

Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) members across all government departments have voted to take strike action against the government's imposed 2% pay rise maximum. (See below for details of the ballot result).

Bill Mullins

This follows a national strike earlier this year against job losses, the pay freeze, privatisation and attacks on the civil service redundancy scheme.

PCS were successful in reaching agreement on three issues to the satisfaction of the members, who voted 94% in favour of the deal, but this left the pay issue still to fight for.

In the latest ballot, 54% voted to strike and 80% voted for action short of a strike. The tens of thousands of low-paid civil service workers who are prepared to take strike action are a remarkable indication of their preparedness to struggle.

The voting took place just as the whirlwind of the financial crisis began to hit the headlines, with all of the threats to jobs and living standards that this means.

The campaign to win the 'yes' vote was down to the leadership of the union, including many Socialist Party members, who had spoken at dozens of membership meetings up and down the country.

The PCS membership is spread across some 200 different government departments and agencies. This meant that the union had to campaign on the basis of convincing workers that only a national pay settlement could address their grievances.

It is a tribute to the leadership of the union that they were able to bring them altogether and get a majority to vote to take action under a single campaign over pay.

The union's national executive (NEC) will meet next week to decide the timing of any national day of action to kick off the industrial action part of the campaign. This will include sectoral action, ie, workers in the same sectors, for example, health, welfare, tax etc taking action and a national overtime ban. The PCS demands are reasonable, modest and achievable and are what members need and deserve to make some progress away from a downward spiral of low pay.

The college lecturers have accepted their pay offer of between 2% and 5% and the Police Federation has also accepted their recent pay offer of around 2.5%.

The PCS NEC should know by next week the outcome of the ballot amongst teachers in the NUT. If this is also successful the opportunity for joint action is on the cards.

The government seems determined to keep the lid on public-sector pay. It remains to be seen what happens in the negotiations opening up. It would be better if there was a united fight of all the public-sector unions.

But even if the rest of the public-sector unions take a step back, the PCS leaders will, if necessary, organise action alone to defend their members' living standards.

PCS has achieved settlements based on the sound tactical use of industrial action as part of its campaigning work to protect members' interests. Sticking together in a united campaign is the best way to avoid any attempt by the government to isolate the most militant union in the public sector.

Votes for strike action:

  • 'yes' 48,946 (54%)
  • 'no' 41,832 (46%)

Number of ballot papers returned 91,749

Spoilt ballot papers 971

Votes for action short of a strike:

  • 'yes' 72,662 (80%)
  • 'no' 17,666 (20%)

Number of ballot papers returned 91,749 • Spoilt ballot papers 1,421

The turnout was 35%.


In this issue


Ford workers strike

'Why not save our jobs?'

Socialist measures to fight capitalist crisis


Socialism 2008

Rally For Socialism 2008

Socialism 2008 details pdf

Socialism 2008 - book here

Socialism 2008 website


Socialist Party editorial

Keynesianism now trumpeted


Socialist Party campaigns

Liverpool: Mass protest wins back the right to campaign!

Demonstrators stop fascist march

42-day detention dropped - for now


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS members vote to strike

Fight for jobs at JCB

Striking against academies

Protest at disciplinary action against teachers

Fast News


Socialist Students

Bangor students vote to fight fees

Fighting for youth in Lewisham

Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action

Kirklees: The battle to save our schools heats up


Comment

NHS props up the private profiteers

We can't afford private rail. Nationalise the railways now!


International socialist news and analysis

Iceland: A victim of the casino economy

Aer Lingus threatens to axe 1,500 posts


Socialist Party review

Persepolis, directed by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Black Power Salute (BBC 4)


 

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