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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 February 2008

Acas staff ballot for strike

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) reports that 650 members at the arbitration service Acas in 15 sites across England, Scotland and Wales are balloting for strike action over pay. The government and management are still refusing to negotiate six months after the 2007 settlement date.

The ballot closes on 29 February and the union is recommending a "rolling programme of symbolic one-hour strikes to be followed by industrial action short of a strike".

But why is the planned action short of a strike? These workers are in a very strong position as indicated by the government's recent announcements of new jobs and extra funding for Acas. (See the letter in last week's Socialist).

While 200 jobs would be welcome, why are we fighting cuts in jobs and services in the rest of the public sector? These 200 jobs are to assist top civil servants and government to do the bosses' bidding in holding down wages and cutting jobs of public and private sector workers.

All workers, many coming into struggle for the first time, need to be warned that Acas generally works in the bosses' favour. It will increasingly be used as a stalling mechanism to hold back wage negotiations and then wages themselves.

Many trade union leaders will try to convince angry members in disputes to refer their claim to Acas and will say that they can expect a fair deal.

Experience has demonstrated that the only organisation we can rely on is our own strength and unity and the threat of withdrawing our labour. This is the only language the greedy employers take notice of.

Keith Dickinson

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In The Socialist 27 February 2008:

Rich get richer - We pay the bills


Unison witch-hunt

Editorial: Stop witch-hunts in Unison - defend those attacked!

Trade union activist fights intimidation

Members protest at Unison witch-hunt


Socialist Students

Student feature: Fighting fees


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Workplace news

Shelter staff vote to strike

Acas staff ballot for strike

Journalists battle for union rights

Workplace News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Scotland - Vendetta against Tommy Sheridan condemned

Feature: Fidel Castro's resignation opens up new chapter

Pakistan elections: Crushing defeat for Musharraf, landslide for opposition parties

Miliband's extraordinary apology on rendition

Sleaze in Northern Ireland: Keeping it in the family


Socialist Party campaigns

Don't let our hospital pay the price for PFI

Explosive mood on gas profits

Fight Devon and Somerset fire cuts

Marching against single status pay cuts

Neither Labour nor Tories will defend public services

Post Office closures

Sheffield buses campaign: 'Saving our services'


 

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