Around 2,700 members of the PCS civil servants' union who work in the Crown Prosecution Service were due to strike across England and Wales on Wednesday and Thursday over pay. Around 700 workers in the service have joined the union over the last few months.
A PCS lay official explained, 'Membership has gone through the roof. After all the talk of partnership it's good to see that old fashioned industrial action gets people out and into the union.'
The work to rule, which began on Monday of last week, will continue after the strike. Some offices will be targeted for selective action. The strike is one sign of the bitterness that civil servants across Britain feel.
This mood led to the election of socialist candidate Mark Serwotka as general secretary of the PCS at the end of last year. 'I fully support the members and welcome their decision to take industrial action,' Mark Serwotka told Socialist Worker. 'It's also heartening that PCS members at the British Library and government offices have rejected pay deals and are gearing up for action. Union members should send messages of support, get down to the picket lines if they can, and make sure other members are informed of the action. The union should use this to launch a national pay campaign.'
Lobby the National Pay Forum, Thursday 1 February, 9.30am, PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, London SW11 2LN (near Clapham Junction station).
A petition demanding that Barry Reamsbottom immediately resigns to allow Mark Serwotka to take over has been launched by DSS Inner London. Phone 020 7987 1919 for copies.