serwotka sellout sets seal on olympic exploitation

By Adam Ford

As women footballers were getting ready to unofficially kick off the London Olympics, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union general secretary was preparing to bow to ruling class pressure, and call off a strike of workers in the Border Agency, Criminal Records Bureau, and the Identity and Passport Service. In doing so, darling of the fake left Mark Serwotka was setting the seal on years of collaboration between union officialdom and the London Olympics authorities.

Brendan Barber (TUC), Sebastian Coe (Olympics) and Ed Sweeney (ACAS)

Tomorrow’s aborted strike was originally called as part of a dispute over 8,500 Home Office jobs the PCS say are at risk as a result of government cuts. Had the walkout gone ahead, it would have caused some disruption to last minute Olympics preparations, particularly with spectators, athletes and others in their entourages still arriving in the country.

Serwotka faced a storm of pressure from the right wing abuse over the strike, with the usual papers seizing on the opportunity to bash the supposed “arrogance” of workers choosing to withdraw their labour at a time when it might have most impact. As could be anticipated, the media ‘debate’ weighed heavily on the ‘national pride’ side of the Olympics, and against working class consciousness. Continue reading “serwotka sellout sets seal on olympic exploitation”

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pcs votes to join ‘j30’

Steve Ryan reflects on the prelude to the upcoming day of co-ordinated strike action by public sector trade unions, due to take place on the 30th of June.

PCS members on strike in 2010.

So its official, the big strike on June 30th is on. Already the excitement is palpable with Scrota all over the news, twitter and face book full of delighted civil servants, all changing their profiles to reflect J30,
Continue reading “pcs votes to join ‘j30’”

time to build a new rank and file?

Meeting to discuss building for June 30th: called by the London group of The Commune.  7pm, Monday 9th May, Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High St.  Map here.  Public sector workers especially welcome!

PCS activist Steve Ryan proposes a new way forward for revolutionaries in the workers’ movement

So the dust has settled after the 26th of March and the chattering classes on the Left now turn to June 30th.

In the past few weeks, several public sector unions have voted to take coordinated strike action over attacks on pensions. Mostly teaching unions, including the usually moderate ATL, they will surely be joined by the PCS after their annual conference in May.

Politics in PCS: not as bad as this photo might suggest

The left is very excited, with talk of millions of workers out and the possibility of pushing the TUC to coordinate action, effectively leading to a general strike.  There is no doubt that the move towards coordinated action is welcome. It has, after all, been a long time coming, given, lest we forget, that the cuts in public services have been going on way before the Condems cosied up. Continue reading “time to build a new rank and file?”

civil servants strike on budget day

Striking civil servants have set up pickets in Westminster to embarrass the Government on Budget Day. Steve Ryan reports.

Despite the excellent support for the two day PCS strike on 8th-9th March, it seems the government are refusing to negotiate on the changes to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme.

As such the union’s National Executive have called a further one day strike on 24th March – Budget Day. Continue reading “civil servants strike on budget day”

mass turnout on pcs civil service pickets

by Steve Ryan

Despite the usual bosses’ claims to the contrary the PCS two day strike looks to have been solid and successful.

Offices were closed services disrupted all over the UK. Significant also was the size of the picket lines, full of ordinary workers not just the usual activists. This clearly unsettled the bosses as many lines were challenged – with no success! The mood was very determined and angry. Continue reading “mass turnout on pcs civil service pickets”

all out in pcs!

by Steve Ryan

Readers of The Commune may be aware that PCS members have voted to take action over the threats to the Civil Service Compensation scheme. This in essence means that 250,000 public sector workers will be out on strike on 8th and 9th March.

The strike is hugely important. The issue is about making it cheaper to sack civil servants. Whilst it is always unacceptable to sack workers, the relentless purge of the public sector makes no sense at all in a recession, with services suffering billions uncollected in tax. Indeed even the London Evening Standard ran an article on public sector pensions, pointing out how low they were and that any attempt to reduce them would simply mean an increase in benefit claims and hence no saving to the exchequer. Continue reading “all out in pcs!”