MoJ privatisation victory + rolling strikes across civil service

Following a successful campaign the post and stationery functions in the Ministry of Justice headquarters have been saved.

The PCS union campaign, supported by the local branch and the group executive committee and the national union, started a year ago when management announced plans to privatise these facilities.

Thanks to the huge support, management decided last autumn to revise their plans and undertook a thorough review of the post and stationery functions which PCS had been advocating for some time.

A rep said: “We are delighted that this privatisation has been defeated. We are currently fighting the privatisation of criminal enforcement and areas of information and communications technologies. It just shows the union can defeat plans with the support of its members.”

Ministry of Justice members will be taking two half days of strike action on the afternoons of 7 and 17 June. This is part of rolling action across the civil service.

Peter Tinley, a PCS rep at the HMRC tax office in Leicester said: “We are out today [5 June], not only because of the cuts to terms and conditions and jobs and pensions, but it is also to emphasise the closure of 13 enquiry centres in the North East, which is a trial for the closure of all of them. The reasoning behind it is that people don’t need face to face help any more.

These cuts will not only affect our members but will also hit the public hard. Those who need the help, especially the vulnerable, won’t be able to get it.”

On 6 June PCS members in the South West were on strike. Speaking at the strike rally Dee Leary, a secretary of the Bristol Revenue and Customs branch emphasised the central role trade unions must have in the fight against austerity.

This unity in action would help prevent the divisions that groups like the EDL exploit. PCS vice-president and Socialist Party member John McInally also spoke, criticising Eds Balls and Miliband for their insistence that Labour would stick to Tory welfare cuts.

If they don’t offer an alternative to austerity why should workers vote for them? Many of those in the meeting echoed those sentiments, saying a real alternative was needed.

PCS members were enthusiastic about the response to the action they’re taking they also expressed the need to widen the struggle and coordinate with other unions.