CIVIL SERVANTS in the PCS civil servants' union in the Department of Work and Pensions in central and west London have voted by a 70 percent margin to take strike action. The strike is in defence of branch secretary Chris Ford and leading activist Phil Henry.
Chris and Phil are facing victimisation by Jobcentre Plus management following complaints made by scabs during the lengthy strike over safety which ended earlier this year. In Chris's case the allegation of assault is based on the testimony of one scab. Despite the seriousness of the allegation, no report was made to the police. In addition the statement made by other pickets refuting the allegation seems to have been ignored.
In Phil's case management waited an entire year before launching an investigation. This is part of a much wider assault on union organisation in Jobcentre Plus in advance of 15,000 to 20,000 job cuts and further attacks on benefit entitlement. The first two strike days are Monday and Tuesday of next week.
Send messages of support and donations to PCS, Union Rooms, Department of Work and Pensions, Government Buildings, Bromyard Avenue, London W3 7HG, or phone 0845 377 2103.