Socialist Worker

PCS union calls off planned Home Office strike

Issue No. 2313

A planned strike by PCS union members has been called off after management concessions.

The strike would have included workers across the Home Office, including the UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau.

Workers were due to stage a 24-hour walkout tomorrow, Thursday, on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

As well as unleashing a high level of vitriol against the strike, the government ran to the courts to try and stop the strike with an injunction.

But in the end they came up with a new offer. The union said that 800 new jobs will be created in the Border Agency and 300 in passport offices, describing it as enough progress to suspend the action.

The dispute is over government plans to cut 8,500 Home Office jobs. A number of issues in the dispute remain unresolved.

Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary said, “These new jobs are a welcome step towards a recognition that the Home Office has been cracking under the strain of massive job losses, and that the answer is not more cuts but more investment.

“We are pleased that with these new posts and the progress made in talks we are able to avert a strike ahead of the Olympics. But we first raised our concerns 18 months ago, so it is deeply regrettable that ministers allowed this dispute to escalate.”

Left wing Labour MP John McDonnell added, “Thank goodness the government has seen sense. The union has secured a tremendous breakthrough to protect its members’ jobs.

“This could have been sorted weeks ago. There was no need for this heavy-handed brinkmanship by the government.”

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Wed 25 Jul 2012, 12:00 BST
Issue No. 2313
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