Unions & politics

No backlash in PCS

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 15:44
Author

John Moloney

Our intervention in this election is unprecedented in the history of PCS. In previous elections, the union has run a neutral campaign called “make your vote count”.

Some in the union were worried that our stance would provoke a negative response from members, and maybe even resignations from people who wanted the union to remain strictly apolitical, but this hasn’t materialised.

The previous line proceeded from the premise that all parties were objectively the same, and our job was simply to provide members with information about their various policies, especially those affecting the civil

Building wider climate action for 29 November

Published on: Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:14
Author

Misha Zubrowski

The next global youth climate strike is planned for Friday 29 November. In dozens of towns and cities across the UK, from hundreds of schools, and in hundreds of cities around the world, millions of school students and young people will be taking a stand against climate change.

It will be the first international climate strike since 20 September. There have been multiple strikes over the last year. On 20 September there was a call for workers to join students, and in several workplaces they did.

This was an important step towards the workplace environmental activism which we need. We need to

Not just a Labour vote

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2019 - 07:34
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will strike again on 7, 8, 11, and 12 November. These are members working in facilities management, employed by outsourced contractor Interserve.

We want Interserve to meet certain demands, including recognising the union; guaranteeing company sick pay; and reversing cuts in hours, but ultimately we want these workers to be employed directly on the same terms and conditions as all other civil servants.

We are also working closely with the United Voices of the World union, which has members in the Ministry of Justice and Royal Parks, which are

Official report damns fracking

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 11:00
Author

Misha Zubrowski

On 23 October, the National Audit Office (NAO) has released a damning report into the future of fracking in the UK, showing that even in the terms it has been justified by, it will fall short.

NAO is an independent Parliamentary body which scrutinises spending and policy of other government departments and bodies.

Fracking, short for Hydraulic Fracturing, refers to particular methods of extracting natural gas.

High pressure fracking fluid — a mixture of chemicals dissolved in water — is pumped through a well and into rock to fracture it. This is generally done to shale, and it creates and

The left and the climate movement

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:04
Author

Misha Zubrowski

This article is a second excerpt from a document on climate change to be discussed by the forthcoming Workers’ Liberty conference.

On paper, almost all trade unions recognise climate change as a grave danger, and demand state action to combat it, with workers having a role in “a just transition”.

For the most part, the policies are close to those of the “One Million Climate Jobs” (OMCJ) project of the “Campaign Against Climate Change” (CACC), from about a decade ago.

CACC often functions to “outsource” climate activism from the labour movement itself.

Some unions, and the TUC, have policy

Lessons from the seventies

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 09:04
Author

Pete Boggs

When Avon jet engines being refurbished for use by the Chilean air force came into the workshop at the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride, Scotland, from 1974, workers there decided to refuse work on them.

The Chile solidarity movement in Britain celebrated this action as exemplary, and it is the subject of the 2018 documentary Nae Pasaran. Eventually, due to downwards pressure, not only from their bosses, but also the Labour government and the trade union bureaucracy, the workers were forced to end the boycott. But even then they loosely fitted together the bolts in the engines loosely, and

Pay claim for Brexit work

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 08:45
Author

John Moloney, PCS Assistant General Secretary (in a personal capacity)

The ongoing chaos around Brexit is having many detrimental impacts on PCS members’ working lives.

In Stratford DWP, hundreds of workers have been temporarily reallocated to Brexit-related work on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra). Members have said they want to ballot over this.

The concern is that DWP is looking to move work outside of London, where they don’t have to pay London weighting, so workers are worried that they might not get their DWP work back after the Defra project is finished.

The union will be submitting a pay claim to the government

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