Socialist Worker


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.

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.

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.

'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.


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.

Civil service

22 September 2001
THE CIVIL service dispute in London is escalating. The PCS union has started to ballot its members in the Benefits Agency and Employment Service for indefinite strike action in over 50 Pathfinder offices. Staff are being balloted in offices from Exeter to Aberdeen.

Civil service

15 September 2001
HUNDREDS OF Benefits Agency and Employment Service civil servants in the PCS union in south west London and Brent in west London are continuing their indefinite strike action. It is against management proposals to remove screens. The strikers all work in the government's new Pathfinder scheme.


15 September 2001
Workers fight the BNP in Oldham WE MET last week to launch Oldham Trade Unionists Against Racism and Fascism. Around 20 people, mostly local union reps and shop stewards from a range of unions including MSF, AEEU, UNISON, NUT, PCS and others, attended our inaugural meeting.

Civil service

11 August 2001
THE CIVIL servants' PCS union is balloting over 300 members for all-out strike action in the Brent and Streatham Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder pilots. The mood is excellent, with over 100 members at an evening rally last week headed by general secretary elect Mark Serwotka and Brian Butterworth from Brent UNISON.

Pass to action

10 March 2001
Around 1,800 Passport Office workers in the PCS civil servants' union are to be balloted for strikes over pay. The workers rejected management's pay offer by nine to one in a ballot. "It shows the underlying bitterness of people for the low pay we face and the work we have to do," one Passport Office worker told Socialist Worker.

Civil servants

10 February 2001
Many delegates at the PCS national forum for pay negotiators were angry at the government's tight restrictions on civil service pay.

Picket line verdict

27 January 2001
Around 3,000 Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) workers in the PCS civil servants' union went on strike on Wednesday and Thursday of last week over pay. Picket lines sprang up across England and Wales after management tried to impose a deal workers had rejected by 82 percent in a ballot.

PCS: Court Action

20 January 2001
Around 2,700 members of the PCS civil servants' union who work in the Crown Prosecution Service were due to strike across England and Wales on Wednesday and Thursday over pay. Around 700 workers in the service have joined the union over the last few months.

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