THE BATTLE IS ON TO STOP an assault on civil service workers. The PCS union is calling on over a quarter of a million workers to strike on Monday 8 March and Tuesday 9 March.
This follows a ballot which saw over 63 percent vote for strikes and 81 percent support an overtime ban.
The strikes, which will involve Jobcentre staff, tax workers, coastguards, courts staff and driving test examiners, are a result of the government and Cabinet Office making unilateral changes to the civil service compensation scheme.
But they are part of a much wider war.
Who pays for the crisis?
The government, backed by the Tories, wants workers to pay the price for bailing out the bosses and the bankers.
Services and jobs will be slashed to maintain the profits and the bonuses of the bankers!
The strikes are not just a defence of civil service workers, they are also a defence of vital services.
If the government gets its way it will be much easier to ram though mass job cuts and privatisation.
So PCS members are fighting for the whole working class not just themselves.
PCS members are in the same trench as the workers in Greece and Spain and Portugal who are fighting over similar issues.
The changes to the compensation scheme will see staff robbed of up to a third of their entitlements and lose tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of a job.
The government is looking to save £500 million through the changes, based on the number of jobs it has axed over the last three years. Yet at the same time there is a “tax gap” of £120 BILLION!
This is the money that could be collected if the rich and the corporations paid the right amount of tax.
But that means employing more civil service workers, not fewer.
The union needs to take the fight into the wider movement. The Right to Work campaign of Resistance and Solidarity can help that process (go to http://www.righttowork.org.uk)
A political alternative
The attacks from both Labour and the Tories emphasise the need for a political alternative.
Socialist Worker supporters are one element of the new Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) that has been set up to contest the general election in about 50 seats.
We urge everyone to get involved in the campaign. Contact us or go to http://www.tusc.org.uk to find out what’s happening in your area.
●All out on 8 and 9 March, full support for further action the union calls and a push for more national action.
●An active strike with as many pole as possible involved in picketing and other activities.
●Regional demonstrations and a national demonstration.
●Take the argument into the wider working class movement to bust the myths about civil service workers and explain how the strike is to defend services as well as jobs.
Are you intheunion? You need to be part of it more than ever now. Go to http://www.pcs.org.uk to join.