PCS rep in DWP
I am a PCS union rep in the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions). I am also a proud socialist in a working-class area, and have been a union member since I started working at 16.
One of my duties as a rep is to know and speak to my members. I floor-walk, at work, all through my building, but I’m most familiar with the Retirement Services Department, pensions and such. There’s a fair number of us in there and a good mix of old hands and new hires. There are staff who haven’t worked anywhere else and remember the various anti-trade union laws over the years. There are staff in their first job too, who are just happy to be working at anything in this wretched economy.
What unites us all is the common goal to oust our union leadership that is seen as right-leaning, and put back leaders who are completely “one of us”.
And that is Marion Lloyd for general secretary, and John Moloney for re-election as assistant general secretary.
My branch voted almost unanimously for Marion and John, with no votes against. No one I’ve spoken with has changed their mind. Everyone is grimly determined to see their candidates achieve two incredibly important leadership roles.
There is faith that electing Marion and John means we have leaders “of the people”, not ones earning more money than an elected Member of Parliament, while brushing off members’ democratic decisions, or sending out questions that were perceived as sneaky, tricky questions in the consultative ballot.
There is anger at not being reballoted despite a direct statement that DWP would be reballoted. There is anger from single parents who lost benefits because of the arbitrary cost-of-living payment, and from part-time staff who lost out because it was pro-rated. Anger because there was no visible outrage and defence from their union leadership.
And now, members want a change: a change for the workers, a change to be represented by people who haven’t lost touch with how miserable it is to try to survive a winter on minimum wage, or who still know what it’s like to not have fresh fruit and veg in the kitchen for your children.
My members want change, and the change they want is Marion Lloyd for general secretary and John Moloney for assistant general secretary.