Socialist Worker

Civil service workers rally builds the ballot for action over job cuts

by Paul Murphy
Issue No. 1968

Civil service workers in the PCS union met in central London on Thursday of last week to discuss their current ballot against job cuts. Chancellor Gordon Brown wants to slash 104,000 jobs across the civil service.

Thousands of PCS members in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London are being balloted to take strike action against chronic staff shortages.

The mood was very positive at the meeting. PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka spoke about how important winning the ballot was for the fight for jobs in the civil service.

Union activists are leafleting the less well organised branches encouraging people to vote for strike action. In north London we have leafletted a number of offices in Edmonton, Tottenham, Wood Green, Hendon and Edgeware.

There are going to be meetings over the cuts and pay across the PCS in the autumn.

The strike ballot concludes on Wednesday of next week. If it is successful workers are set to strike on Friday 30 September.

There was also a collection taken for the sacked Gate Gourmet workers at the meeting.

The union has also said that it has seen a restricted letter from Jonathan Portes, DWP director of work, and minister of work Margaret Hodge which outlines secret plans for the privatisation of Jobcentre Plus.

The letter sets out plans for a feasibility strategy to outsource the main bulk of Jobcentre work, benefit processing, fraud investigation and incapacity benefits.

This letter shows how important our current fight is in stopping the government’s plans and defending public services.

Over 5,500 PCS members in the Defra agency have begun a ballot for a one-day strike over pay inequality in the department. The ballot runs until Thursday of next week.

PCS members at the Driving Standards Agency headquarters in Nottingham are set to strike over job cuts on Monday of next week.

The union is set to ballot workers across the agency against the closing down of the Cardiff call centre and staff shortages.

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Sat 17 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1968
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