Socialist Worker

Make May Day a huge strike for public services

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2040

Activists in the PCS civil service workers’ union are organising to make Tuesday 1 May the next national strike in their dispute over 104,000 job cuts, pay and privatisation.

The union’s national executive has put forward a calendar of action to keep up the momentum of the PCS’s campaign.

A quarter of a million PCS members struck solidly on 31 January. Tens of thousands of PCS members in the Identity and Passport Service, the Ministry of Defence and the Land Registry could strike on Friday 30 March over pay.

Some 6,000 Prospect union members in the Ministry of Defence were due to strike on Wednesday of this week over pay. The PCS is looking to liaise with Prospect over future action.

Civil service workers in a number of different departments have still not received pay offers for 2006.

The rest of the PCS will take action short of a strike in support on 30 March.

These plans will be discussed at a number of regional meetings that are taking place around the country over the next few weeks.

Andy Reid, a PCS national executive member, told Socialist Worker, “We have to fight to make a strike on May Day a focus for all trade unionists, especially those in the public sector.

“We are all facing neoliberal attacks from the government. We need to unite across the grassroots in the unions to oppose these.

“Our strike can be a focus for other public sector trade unions to fight back as well.”

PCS members used last Friday’s TUC Work Your Proper Hours day to keep up the campaign.

In many areas they refused to work overtime, took their full rest and lunch breaks, left work on time and organised leafleting.

The union is also launching a political campaign called Make Your Vote Count in the run-up to May’s elections.

Each branch will ask all the candidates in their area what their position is on issues affecting PCS members.

This is a great opportunity for PCS activists to raise the neoliberal attacks they are facing with political parties and union members.

Activists are also pushing for an escalation by, if possible, turning the strike in May into a two-day action including a national demonstration on the second day.

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Article information

Sat 3 Mar 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2040
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