Socialist Worker

PCS build solid, determined pickets

Issue No. 2281

Civil service workers’ union PCS was at the heart of making sure 30 November became a reality.

This time it was joined on the picket lines by workers in other unions across the civil service—many walking out for the first time.

Thomas McGowan is a PCS member at the government’s CEFAS marine biology lab in Lowestoft. He told Socialist Worker, “We had a great picket line, with 20 or 30 people. 90 percent of the workers here are in Prospect which doesn’t usually take this sort of action—that shows how angry people are.”

Civil service workers in the PCS and FDA unions struck side-by-side for the first time outside London’s Euston Tower—headquarters of tax collectors HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

They held a joint union banner saying “Pensions: staff in HMRC will lose £156,731,324”.

Sundaram is an assistance officer at HMRC and a PCS member. “The strike is solid and well supported,” he said. “The scale of the pensions robbery has really hit home.

“Lots of people can see past the government’s attempts to blame the public sector for the deficit. There are lots of people who haven’t come in today who don’t usually strike.”

Terry is an FDA member at HMRC. It is the first time he has gone on strike. “The feeling is that enough is enough,” he said. “We’ve had pay freezes, job cuts, attacks on our pensions. We’re scapegoats for the crisis—but the bankers’ bonuses carry on.”

Many PCS picket lines showed visible improvement since the 30 June strikes.

Alexandra Allport from Redcar told Socialist Worker, “I’ve worked for HMRC for 27 years. I’m only asking for what’s been promised to me.

“The bankers get their contractual bonuses. Why can’t we get our contractual pension?”

As a picket at Liverpool’s passport office said, “The next time we come out, it has to be all out indefinite.”


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