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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2019

PCS union: vital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

Cleaners organised by PCS on strike at BEIS, 8.4.19, photo by London Socialist Party

Cleaners organised by PCS on strike at BEIS, 8.4.19, photo by London Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Marion Lloyd, PCS national executive committee (personal capacity)

Huge attacks face workers represented by civil service union PCS. It is vital that the union elects a campaigning leadership, up to the challenge of fighting Tory cuts. National leadership elections start on 16 April and close on 9 May.

As well as the national executive committee elections which take place annually, this year members will vote for the union's assistant general secretary - elected every five years.

Socialist Party member Chris Baugh is standing for re-election as assistant general secretary. He is the candidate of PCS Left Unity, the union's broad left group. Socialist Party members Marion Lloyd and Dave Semple are also standing for re-election to the national executive committee on the 'Democracy Alliance' slate also supported by Left Unity.

Workers throughout the union are showing their preparedness to fight.

Determined cleaners at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, employed by outsourcer Aramark, have taken another three days' action. They are fighting for the London Living Wage and against privatisation. They want to return to direct civil service employment.

Strike action

PCS members at HM Revenue and Customs in Ealing have taken three more days of strike action to keep their tax office open. Ealing and Hillingdon trade union councils, the National Shop Stewards Network and others supported the picket lines and a rally held on the first strike day.

The strike committee will now discuss how to increase the pressure on the employer. Hundreds of PCS members' jobs are at risk, and any closure will hit the local community hard, a community already hit by austerity.

HM Revenue and Customs workers in Wolverhampton are now balloting for industrial action to keep their office open. It is crucial that the Ealing and Wolverhampton campaigns become part of a wider strategy of industrial action and campaigning across the union's HM Revenue and Customs group.

And to smash the Tory pay cap, winning the national pay ballot is crucial. With the ballot closing on 29 April, members must vote for strike action.

The Tory anti-union laws mean 50% of all members have to vote for the union to legally launch a campaign of industrial action. Branches all over the country have already met the 50% threshold.

But we cannot be complacent. Campaigning in the next weeks and days is crucial for the majority of branches to go over the 50% turnout.

The ballot result will be announced on 29 April. A resounding vote for action must be immediately supported by a strike programme to end the 1% pay increases of recent years.

The union needs to set out a detailed plan of sustained, national, group and targeted industrial action, and build up the fighting fund to support those members taking action on behalf of all of us. PCS must also urgently talk to other public sector unions about balloting their members so we can have joint action across the public sector to end years of pay restraint.

All these campaigns show why it is crucial to have leaders prepared to fight. If you want to fight all austerity, vote for Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary.

Chris has a record second to none in fighting cuts and privatisation, such as the attempted and defeated privatisation of the Land Registry. He has helped PCS resist vicious attempts to crush the union by the Tory government, such as the attack on 'check-off' union dues.

PCS members will receive our ballot papers in the next few days. Make sure you vote Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary, Marion Lloyd and Dave Semple for the national executive committee, and for all other candidates on the Democracy Alliance slate.

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In The Socialist 16 April 2019:


What we think

Tories facing electoral meltdown - but only a socialist alternative to austerity can finish them off


News

100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.

Assange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars

Labour looks to Bank of England to stall house prices

No-fault evictions ban, but cuts leave tenants vulnerable

Cuts drive council tax debt

Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"


Minimum wage

20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker


Workplace news

Newham bin workers ballot for strikes

Arriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears

School staff demand action on pay and testing at NEU conference

Deliveroo workers protest at firm's Nottingham roadshow

PCS union: vital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

Unison union: right wing tries to block campaigning - elect a socialist leadership


International socialist news and analysis

Sudan: No to rule of the generals!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour councils must act now to save our schools!

Council elections - an opportunity to present a socialist alternative to cuts

Activists rally in fight for more council housing and against high rents

Alternative housing awards

'Reforms' hollow out the NUS

Youth climate strikes: Democratic organisation and socialist policies needed


Opinion

Engels' classic essential for understanding socialist ideas old and 'new'

Real life on Universal Credit: "As soon as I get billed for my electric, I'm finished"

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

PCS:

triangleBuilding a new left in PCS

trianglePCS members at BEIS maintain just fightback

triangleDVSA strike - employer asks for talks

trianglePCS general secretary candidate: unions must mobilise to drive out Boris

Union:

triangleSouth Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

triangleScotland and Brexit: Developing threat to the capitalist union

triangleClimate strikes: trade union round-up

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

Strikes:

triangleMarches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?

triangleSummer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

triangleJuly climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement

Pay:

triangleStudents and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

triangleFighting PCS general secretary needed - Marion Lloyd: Why I am standing

Strike:

triangleNottingham College UCU - more strike action planned

Marion Lloyd:

triangleNew group launched to fight general secretary election

Chris Baugh:

trianglePCS conference: defeats for union officialdom and steps taken to rebuild a fighting left opposition

HM Revenue and Customs:

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

National Shop Stewards Network:

triangleAsda workers protest against worse contract

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