Civil service workers formed noisy pickets across
Workers in the PCS union at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are taking part in joint regional strikes around the country this week. They are also joined by the Valuation Office Authority (VOA).
Members in jobcentres and tax offices have walked out across the country.
Striking tax workers at
Dave Plummer, a worker at
Many picket lines received solidarity visits from workers in other unions. For instance several Unison members came to
Dave said, “We need joint strikes. There’s a lot of solidarity between union members, if not between union leaders.”
The picket line at
At midday Mark Serwotka addressed a rally of supporters and striking workers. He said, “We will carry on all our efforts to get other unions to join us.”
He said that if other unions join, “We can think big and stop what the government is doing”
At their annual conference last month the PCS voted to go on strike nationally at the end of June.
Strikers at the rally debated whether this should be a half day or a whole day. People also discussed whether the PCS should join the teachers’ unions the NUT and NASUWT on 27 June.
Serwotka said the PCS will be holding consultations at union branches to decide the tactics. He said, “We have to move to the next phase and make it harder hitting”
Today, Thursday, workers went on strike in
Marianne Owens, a HMRC worker in
“The strikes today are really well attended. But I’m in a fairly solid workplace and it’s getting increasingly difficult to organise strikes,” she said.
“There’s a danger of people getting demoralised when they look back to the 30 November strikes.
“HMRC has lost 37,000 staff since 2005 and there are plans to lose a further 10,000. We’re really short staffed and have not had a pay rise in the last two years, and when we got one it was below inflation. We’re asked to do more and more for less and less.”