Socialist Worker

Into battle for public services

PCS members are striking across Britain to stop Brown's plan to cut 104,000 jobs, reports civil service worker Steve West

Issue No. 2036

Civil service workers are fighting for us all (Pic: John McLoughlin)

Civil service workers are fighting for us all (Pic: John McLoughlin)

» PCS strike reports

The strike by a quarter of a million civil service workers in the PCS union this Wednesday is a crucial blow in the battle to defend public services.

New Labour wants to cut 104,000 civil service jobs and privatise whole swathes of public services. It wants private companies to make a profit out of the essential services that we deliver to the public.

The government claims that our strike will hurt the vulnerable people who rely on our services. But New Labour's real agenda was exposed by its plans this week to slash single parent benefits.

The job cuts are hitting our ability to help the most vulnerable – pensioners, the unemployed, disabled people and many more.

And it's not just civil servants the government is attacking. The NHS is facing severe cuts that are leading to mass job losses and the closure of hospitals, while New Labour is allowing private companies to make a profit out of the health service.

All this is happening while the government spends billions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and on a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system.

Chancellor Gordon Brown is pushing through these cuts to prove that he's as tough as Tony Blair as Labour's change of leadership draws nearer.

Brown is my local MP. PCS members in the constituency are extremely angry about what he is doing to our jobs and services.

Our strike is putting pressure on the government. Workers are facing similar attacks on their jobs and conditions across the public and private sectors.

We are going to need major action by all the unions to stop New Labour's nightmare vision for the future.

We need to present an alternative vision of a society where people's needs and public services come before private profit.

Our fight is crucial for the kind of Britain we want. Everyone should back our strike and join the resistance against New Labour.

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