Pickets turned several people away from work on Monday. At the Ravenhurst social security office an agency worker joined PCS on the picket line and refused to cross. Five joined the PCS in Walsall.
Andy Lawson, DWP north London PCS branch organiser, said, “This is the strongest strike we’ve had here in years. Management may pretend they’ve run a service but in reality very little will have happened.” Jenny Sutton, TUSC prospective parliamentary candidate for Tottenham, visited the picket line.
Pickets were out at all government offices on Monday. Over 100 people then went on a PCS demonstration. Labour MP Alan Simpson spoke at a rally in support of the strike.
Nottingham City Unison held its own 100-strong protest against cuts outside the Council House. Unison and the PCS exchanged speakers.
PCS pickets on New Kings Beam House got a warm welcome from Network Rail staff who share the building. They organised a collection in support of the striking civil servants and raised £55.
There was a lively picket at Tyneview Park Department for Work and Pensions. PCS rep Spencer Davies said, “This is not just about fighting cuts in the civil service, We’re here fighting for pensioners and unemployed people.”
There was a strong picket line of around 30 at the main PCS picket of the Sidlaw Revenue & Customs centre.
A number of previously non-union workers were recruited on the picket line and didn’t go into work.
St Austell, Cornwall
Strong picket lines were in place at the Revenue & Customs office and contact centre, and the benefit office, from 6.45 am. Nigel Pascoe, PCS office rep, said that several workers had joined the union in the run up to the strike and that “many more non-members had asked what their position was”.
There were picket lines at John Rideal House and Joseph Locke House—the two main civil service workplaces in Barnsley—this morning. Two of the outlying job centres were closed for the day because of support for the strike. All pickets reported solid support for the strike from union members.
Pickets at the county court reported that only managers and one agency worker had gone into work. Delegations from the local branches of the NUT and the UCU joined the picket lines and got an enthusiastic reception.
Pickets were in a determined mood on the picket line in Chorlton. “Getting rid of the compensation scheme is about more than benefits for people made redundant,” explained Les,”'They want to make it easier to sack people, and we are becoming a great big call centre, ripe for privatisation.'.
Another union activist said, “We should be on strike against the call centre plans as well as over the compensation scheme. That would make the whole fight stronger.”
Thanks to Simon Furze, Richard Buckwell, Dave Barnes, Geoff Abbot, Euan Dargie, Matt Bradbury, Dave Gibson, Mark Krantz and everyone else who sent in reports.