PCS says: join coup protests

Submitted by AWL on 5 September, 2019 - 11:13 Author: John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS nationally has made a clear statement against Johnson’s coup, and is encouraging members to join protests.

Our National Executive Committee (NEC) meets this week [starting 2 Sep], and will discuss the unfolding situation in more detail. Our conference policy on Brexit is to remain neutral on the question itself, which the NEC can’t overturn, but obviously we will need to think about how we respond, particularly as it’s PCS members’ labour that will be relied upon to a large extent to “deliver Brexit”.

It may be during the NEC meeting itself that a general election is announced. We would then need to decide how the union will intervene into that. We have a conference policy in favour of a Corbyn-led government, but the NEC would need to flesh that policy out and decide whether we’ll be putting resources into campaigning for that, mobilising members to canvas, encouraging people to join Labour to get involved with the election campaign, and so on.

The Trades Union Congress is also meeting this week [8-11 Sep], and I hope they’d respond to events with some urgency as well.

PCS members are also fighting a number of industrial battles, many involving strikes. In Stockport, Universal Credit centre workers struck from 27-28 August, demanding additional jobs and more manageable workloads. IT workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency also began a month-long strike on 22 August, resisting overbearing bosses who’ve been making unilateral changes to working practices.

Outsourced cleaners and catering staff at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are continuing an indefinite strike for living wages, supported by full strike pay from the union. Other workers, such as post room staff, security workers, and reception workers are also involved in that dispute. Cleaners at HMRC offices in Bootle and Liverpool will be striking again.

Outsourced workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are also in dispute, with talks between the union and the employer still ongoing.

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