The PCS civil service workers’ union conference last week voted overwhelmingly to continue its industrial action against job cuts and low pay, in coordination with other unions if possible (see Union unity to break Gordon Brown’s 2% pay limit).
The conference also discussed many other issues facing union members, including pensions, pregnancy related absences from work, sickness absences, and the defence of public services.
The PCS wants to extend its highly successful Make Your Vote Count campaign, which it launched in the run-up to the May elections.
Now it wants to hold candidates who said they backed the union’s objectives to account, and use the same campaign in future elections.
Worryingly, a motion calling for the removal of reserved seats for black members won some support on the conference floor. It was defeated by a close vote.
Delegates voted to reaffirm the PCS’s support for a woman’s right to choose on abortion, oppose the replacement of Trident nuclear weapons, and continue the union’s strong campaigns against the BNP.
John McDonnell, the left wing Labour MP who failed to receive enough nominations to challenge Gordon Brown for Labour leader, received a standing ovation.
McDonnell told the conference, “Trade union leaders were ringing MPs to get them to nominate Gordon Brown because they think they can get a negotiated deal with him for their members.
“Where have they been for the last ten years?”