Around 400 trade unionists packed into a lunchtime rally in Telford last week to protest against the threat to 1,400 local civil service jobs.
The rally, called by the PCS union, followed a determined campaign by local reps. This campaign has been described by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka as a “model” for how the union should be organising across the country.
Telford and the surrounding area of Shropshire could be one of the worst regions to be hit by Gordon Brown’s proposed 104,000 civil service job cuts. It has a large number of civil service offices as well as a huge military support base at Donnington.
There was particularly strong anger in the rally from members at the ministry of defence, who feel they have been lied to by the government about the security of their jobs. Several called for industrial action.
Speakers from unions including Unison and Amicus agreed on a united campaign, including working towards united industrial action.
Driving Standards Agency
Around 160 civil service workers in the PCS union are set to strike at the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) headquarters in Nottingham.
DSA workers are angry about plans to slash 50 jobs at the department. We have already struck for one day last month.
We have a meeting with Labour minister Karen Buck on Thursday of this week. The strike will go ahead unless she makes a commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies.
Driving examiners are also now taking part in an indicative ballot over their contracts. Branches across the country will be holding meetings over the next few weeks to discuss joining the industrial action.
Paul Williams, DSA PCS group president
Coventry rally for jobs
Trade unionists in Coventry are organising a rally for jobs on Saturday 12 November. There have been job losses at Jaguar, Marconi and the city hospital recently.
There are also plans to slash 550 jobs at the Learning and Skills Council — half of the workforce. The PCS and local trades council are supporting the protest, which begins at 10.30am at Millennium Square.