A strike by some 2,500 members of the PCS civil service workers’ union on Friday of last week severely disrupted the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).
The action is over the fact that management have yet to offer a 2006 pay deal to workers. The union made a claim in June.
Paul McGoay, the acting PCS vice-president of the IPS group, said, “It took 15 months to get a pay deal last year. Members didn’t want to wait again for an offer but negotiations have got nowhere.
“We want a decent pay deal, delivered on time - which we aren’t getting.
“There is a feeling of anger and frustration among members. They are pleased to see a union that is active. We have recruited people in the run-up to the strike and on the picket line.
“We are also now working to rule and making sure that has a big impact.
“Every area of the civil service is facing similar issues over pay. We could also face job cuts in the future.”
Gnabressou Gbode, a striker in London, told Socialist Worker, “It is very difficult to live on our salary. People are struggling to pay the bills. The cost of a passport has gone up in the last few months while we are getting nothing.
“We are giving our best and people are just not being rewarded. People are angry.”
The strike hit offices in London, Liverpool, Durham, Newport, Glasgow, Peterborough and Belfast.
Khalid Hussain of Glasgow said, “Management don’t really care. It goes in one ear and out the other with them.
“It’s not hard to come round the table and discuss pay. But they turn round and say they don’t have time.”
Brian McKenna, a member of the union’s group executive committee, told Socialist Worker in Newport, “No union members have crossed the picket line. Appointments are severely restricted.
“Our members are extremely angry at management’s total disregard to delivering a pay deal on time.”