Socialist Worker

PCS


Job centres

23 February 2002
The national strike of tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union working in job centres and benefits offices is reaching a crucial point. We are striking over the removal of safety screens in the newly merged Jobcentre Plus offices.

New dates for action

16 February 2002
Civil Servants working in job centres and benefits agencies are set to hold their next strike on 6 and 7 March. The workers, members of the PCS union, have held two-day strikes on two occasions since mid-December.

DEFRA

16 February 2002
The government has made its third pay offer to workers in the DEFRA department under pressure from industrial action. The workers, members of the PCS union, used to work in the MAFF government department.

How to boost the dispute

09 February 2002
New Labour is determined to break the national dispute involving tens of thousands of job centre and benefits office workers. The government wants to seriously weaken the strikers' PCS union. An internal document for MPs and managers says that the dispute is a "matter of principle" and that the government will not negotiate.

Standing firm against New Labour agenda

02 February 2002
A national strike by tens of thousands of civil servants in the PCS union on Monday and Tuesday of this week defied New Labour and bullying management. It is the second two-day strike by workers in benefits agencies and job centres. The first one was in mid-December. They are challenging the government's plans to remove safety screens in the newly merged benefits agencies and job centres-Jobcentre Plus. Reports were coming in as Socialist Worker went to press that strikers were holding firm.

Wider focus key to making strike bite

26 January 2002
Tens of thousands of civil servants are set to strike next Monday and Tuesday. The workers are PCS union members in benefits offices and job centres. They are striking against New Labour's plans to remove safety screens in the amalgamated benefit agencies and job centres being set up.

Prepare for new strikes

19 January 2002
CIVIL SERVANTS who work in Britain's job centres and benefits offices are preparing for their next round of strikes on Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 January. The action, by members of the PCS union, is a great opportunity to turn up the heat on New Labour and civil service management. New Labour increased its intimidation of strikers last weekend with the threat that people will not receive promised promotions if they continue to strike. "The decision makes clear the contempt in which management holds members' concerns," said Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary elect.

PCS

12 January 2002
ACTIVISTS IN the PCS civil servants' union who work in job centres and benefits offices are gearing up for their next major strike for safety at the end of this month. Around 40,000 civil servants struck in December against the removal of safety screens.

Leaders get it wrong

05 January 2002
THE NATIONAL strike by tens of thousands of Benefits Agency and job centre workers in the PCS civil servants' union has taken a major blow. This dispute saw 40,000 people strike for two days in mid-December against government plans to remove safety screens from the newly merged Jobcentre Plus offices.

Civil servants defy the benefits regime

22 December 2001
Tens of thousands of job centre and benefits office workers across Britain in the civil servants' PCS union struck on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The union estimated that 40,000 people took strike action over the two days, while management claimed 32,000 struck. This is out of around 65,000 union members in the workplaces affected.

Striking back at New Labour

15 December 2001
Tens of thousands of civil servants were due to strike this week. Behind the strikes is a fight to stop government attacks on the welfare state. Workers in benefits offices and job centres across Britain were set to strike on Wednesday and Thursday, after PCS union members voted 16,770 to 14,659 to strike against the government's decision to remove safety screens.

Civil servants

15 December 2001
Many strikers in the Pathfinder offices are angry and disappointed about their national leaders sending the majority of them back to work on Friday of this week. Because every striker received 85 percent strike pay the PCS's strike fund was drained.

'The government haven't broken us'

24 November 2001
The national ballot of 75,000 job centre and Benefits Agency workers in the PCS union was delayed last week due to technical difficulties. The new ballot will now start on Wednesday of this week, ending on Monday 3 December. The 75,000 workers are being balloted to join a strike by 2,500 civil servants across Britain.

PCS round-up

17 November 2001
Thousands of Inland Revenue workers in the PCS union held a flexi-protest over pay on Wednesday of last week.

Taking on Blair's strikebreaking

10 November 2001
Strikers in the government's new Pathfinder job centre and Benefits Agency offices are continuing their determined action. New Labour has launched attempts at strikebreaking and union busting. Around 2,500 civil servants in the PCS union are on all-out strike against the government's plans to remove screens in the new amalgamated offices. Screens are important for staff supplying benefits because of the increased harshness of the government's system.

Civil servants: Strike rattles New Labour

03 November 2001
The strike for safety in job centres around Britain is hitting New Labour. The government is so worried about the effects of the strike that Tony Blair had to meet PCS leaders on Monday of this week.

Paths to victory

27 October 2001
HUNDREDS MORE job centre workers in the PCS civil servants' union joined the indefinite strike for safety at work on Monday of this week. Workers at the government's new Pathfinder offices in Streatham and Brent in London have entered the eighth week of their strike against the removal of safety screens at work.

Respect Festival

13 October 2001
Saturday 20 October, Werneth Park, Oldham Carnival against the Nazis Called by Oldham United Against Racism. Supported by North West Region TUC, ANL, local NUT, Greater Manchester FBU Region Five, PCS, TGWU and UNISON

Civil servants in rising mood

01 October 2001
THE STRIKE for safety by hundreds of civil servants in the PCS union in west London is set to turn into a national dispute. The strikers, in Brent and Lambeth in London, entered their fifth week of indefinite strike on Monday of this week.

DEFRA

29 September 2001
CIVIL SERVANTS from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) struck for two days last week over pay. PCS union members at government offices in York, Guildford and Worcester walked out on Thursday and Friday.

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