PCS

Awaiting Tories?

On 19 November the PCS civil service union launched a parliamentary group, chaired by left Labour MP John McDonnell. The move into politics is good. But with problems. The PCS's lack of a political fund creates procedural difficulties. It cannot, however, justify the union publicly and specifically seeking collaboration with Tory MPs. According to the official union announcement: "The Group will have vice-chairs from each of the four political parties… The Conservative and Lib Dem vice-chair nominees are awaited".

Support the rail, post, and benefits strikes!

With rail strikes crippling train services in the south-east and set to spread, a strike brewing in Consignia (the new name for the postal service) and national strikes by benefits workers, people have been talking about a new "winter of discontent". The name "winter of discontent" refers to strikes in 1978/9 against the last Labour government (1974-79). Elected after an incredible wave of working class militancy brought down Ted Heath's Tories, the Wilson-Callaghan government failed to deliver for workers. The "Thatcherite" policies of massive cuts in the welfare state didn't start with...

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