PCS launches jobs campaign


PCS launches jobs campaign

OVER 100 PCS members marched through the centre of Coventry on 12
November, against government plans to cut hundreds of jobs from regional
Jobcentres and 550 jobs from the offices of the Learning and Skills
Council in the city.

A Coventry Socialist Party member

They were joined by dozens more local trades unionists, many of whom
had worked at famous employers Jaguar, Marconi, and Peugeot – all of
whom had declared redundancies in the recent past.

And to rub salt into the wound, the night before the march the local
NHS hospital announced 250 redundancies!

Speakers at the rally condemned the haemorrhage of jobs from Coventry
and had sharp words for the government’s role – inaction over
manufacturing job losses, and direct responsibility for public sector
job cuts.

Main speaker, Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, lamented the lack
of choice his members had faced at the general election, when:
"Tories wanted 235,000 public service job cuts, Labour wanted
104,000, and the Liberal Democrats wanted targeted, compassionate job
cuts" (!)

To those who, like a local TGWU speaker, wanted greater union
engagement with the Labour Party, Mark responded: "My union hasn’t
given a penny to the Labour Party, and while I’m general secretary, we
never will". His members clapped and cheered him.

The other main speaker, Councillor Dave Nellist of the Socialist
Party, argued for an independent political voice for working people and
further joint trade union action against job cuts. He called for a
meeting for reps and shop stewards in the New Year. This should consider
the changing economy of Coventry, including the sharp fall in recent
years in manufacturing jobs and the Gershon-inspired cuts in the public
sector, and to discuss a joint union response. The initiative was backed
by a regional PCS speaker, and by Mark Serwotka.

The union co-ordinating committee which had planned the march and
rally will meet again shortly to discuss further action.

For further details of PCS campaigns in Coventry contact Ian Devoy,
PCS, [email protected]

DWP strike ballot

OVER 90,000 civil service union PCS members in the Department for
Work and Pensions are being balloted as part of the union’s campaign
against attacks on jobs, services and rights resulting from the
so-called "modernisation" programme.

The ballot is due to begin at the start of December. If no settlement
is reached the action will begin with a two-day group-wide strike,
discontinuous action and an overtime ban.