Members of the PCS civil service workers’ union in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in London last week voted overwhelmingly to strike over job cuts.
Some 71 percent voted to strike over the axing of around 1,000 jobs in the department in London. This is part of the government’s plan to slash over 100,000 jobs across the civil service and has led to a sharp decline in service to the public.
There will be a meeting between the union and DWP management. The key thing the union wants to come out of these talks is an acceptance by management that the staffing reductions have to halt and it has to start recruiting.
Maintaining current staff levels would lead to more deterioration. If management cut more staff it would lead to a collapse.
There needs to be more staff in offices, call centres and processing centres. These cannot cope now with the calls they get.
The group executive committee was meeting on Tuesday as Socialist Worker went to press. It must take a clear position that unless the union achieves its minimum aims then we need to go ahead with the strike.
There is a clear mood for action in the offices. If we don’t get gains from these talks, members in London will be expecting the group executive to call the strike.