Socialist Worker

Meeting hears call for further strikes

by Martin John
Issue No. 1931

OVER 100 PCS civil service workers’ union activists attended the conference of the Left Unity group last Saturday in Manchester.

Delegates were united in hailing the success of the one-day strike to defend jobs and pension rights on 5 November.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka addressed the conference.

He said that further civil service industrial action would be called if the government moves to implement its threats of compulsory redundancies or to attack pensions.

He also called for united action by public sector unions facing attacks on pensions.

Delegates from around the country described the appalling situation faced by PCS members in sites earmarked for closure, such as the Sutton Disability Benefits Centre in London, or at the British Library where compulsory redundancies are threatened.

Anna Owens from London said, “The 5 November strike was fantastic on the picket line outside my office.

“It would be wrong to lose the momentum by declaring peace in the run-up to the general election.”

The national executive of PCS was meeting this week to discuss the next stages of the anti-cuts campaign.

There should be a reballot of all members for further action unless there is progress from the government on PCS demands.

The left needs to meet the challenge of right wing candidates in union elections next year. The right believe cosy chats with ministers is the way forward.

Other motions were carried, including reaffirming our support for reserved NEC seats for black members and a call for PCS to affiliate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Delegates agreed to build on PCS’s affiliation to the Stop the War Coalition by circulating the petition from Rose Gentle calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

Finally, delegates welcomed the success of the 2004 European Social Forum and agreed to support protests at the G8 in Gleneagles next July.
Martin John is a member of the PCS national executive. He writes in a personal capacity.


Charlie McDonald

PCS MEMBERS from across London joined union activist Charlie McDonald during a one-day strike at his office in Stratford, east London, on Friday of last week.

An overwhelming vote for strike action had led bosses to drop charges of gross misconduct. But Department for Work and Pensions management have now charged Charlie with two cases of serious misconduct.

Charlie McDonald told Socialist Worker, “Management wants office closures and job cuts, and sees union reps as standing in the way.

“I’m not the first to be targeted, and I won’t be the last. Even if I’m not dismissed I could get a three-year warning. If I am dismissed there will be an indefinite strike at my office.”

PCS Scottish national demo against job cuts and office closures

Saturday 11 December. Assemble 11am, Public Park, Viewfield Terrace, Dunfermline


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Sat 11 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1931
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