Turn Anger Into Action

Cuts in jobs and public services…

Turn Anger Into Action

"WE HAVE to tell this government that we are fed up with them
knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing", Public and
Commercial Services Union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka told the
TUC Conference.

Ken Smith and Bill Mullins, report from the TUC at Brighton

Mark and the PCS delegation were given a standing ovation – the longest
applause of the week – calling for support for the PCS in the strike
action it is organising against the government’s 104,000 job cuts in the
civil service.

The TUC unanimously gave its backing. This is something that members of
trade unions and workers who use public services will want to see the
union leaders deliver on in the months ahead.

Mark Serwotka spelt out what PCS members need: "We will not win
this campaign without solidarity. We appeal for solidarity. And that means
for unions to co-ordinate their campaigning and through co-ordinated
industrial action as necessary."

The government is "playing politics with people’s lives",
behaving like any other rogue employer by announcing the job cuts on TV
without consultation. It would decimate services that everyone in the
country depends on from cradle to grave. Which services don’t matter? .

Mark pointed to the effect of cutting jobs to the bone in British
Airways. "It’s one thing to experience delays to a flight to New York
but it’s another thing to suffer endlessly waiting for essential

Every speaker expressed support for the PCS. Dave Ward, deputy general
secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), said that
modernisation in the Post Office had seen a ‘renewal plan’ which was 100%
focused on profit and 0% on services. This had led to a real crisis in
customer confidence for which the front-line workers took the brunt of

The TUC general council would have to have a serious think about how to
implement the terms of the motion – to show it was serious in delivering
solidarity with the PCS.

The PCS are now balloting for strike action, which they plan to take on
5 November. All workers who want to defend public services will support
the civil servants. Pressure will need to be built to turn the union
leaders’ words into action.