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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why the phony war?

London based college worker Siobhan Breathnach writes about the top down nature of the UK public sector pensions dispute

We got notice of the 10th of May strike on a Friday afternoon ten days before, in the middle of an emergency meeting about redundancies. The first response was “They have got to be fucking kidding.” There was a general expression of dismay and disbelief. So what is the problem? Why weren’t we pleased about being called out? Continue reading “why the phony war?”

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’”

civil servants on strike: we can’t let the floodgates open

Ahead of civil servants’ walkouts this week and the June 30th strike day, Steve Ryan writes on the Con-Dem offensive against the whole working class

Members of the PCS civil servants’ union throughout a number of departments are taking industrial action over a range of issues, all of which have one theme, and that is government cuts. Department for Work and Pensions and Equality and Human Rights Commission workers are to walk out over office closures, and HMRC tax workers over attacks on sick leave.

con-dems want to crush the possibility of resistance

Also of course it is PCS that has been instrumental in pushing for co-ordinated action on June 30th.

Many on the left see this as something to be fully supported, and of course it is,. However the issues at stake are more complex and even more important than may at first appear. Continue reading “civil servants on strike: we can’t let the floodgates open”

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”