PCS

Industrial news in brief

Success for Nottingham Riders Network On Tuesday 30 April, Deliveroo responded to the Nottingham Rider Network - IWGB's demand letter. Beyond a load of the usual fluff, it became clear that NRN-IWGB had made steps forward: winning a hiring freeze, and an agreement to meet. Unsure as to whether to continue with a strike, the committee took the decision to riders more widely. The response was a decision to call off a strike. The limited victory is good and must be celebrated. But the lesson time and again from Deliveroo, and from employers more generally, is that you win improvements, that you...

PCS: step back and think

Our union, PCS, announced on 30 April that our pay ballot had failed to get the 50% turnout required by law. Since then the union leadership has announced its next step as "to hold a further statutory ballot for industrial action over pay at the earliest appropriate time". That proposal will go as an emergency motion to our conference on 21-23 May. To go for another push as soon as possible to edge us over the 50% mark would be wrong. We need to step back and think why we couldn't get even 50% of our membership to open an envelope, tick a box, and send back the form. The problems are not just...

Industrial news in brief

The PCS union’s ballot for action on pay, which closed on 29 April, gained a turnout of 47.7%. That is over 6% higher than in 2018, but still about 3,000 votes short of reaching the 50% threshold required under Tory anti-union laws. This has highlighted, yet again, the extreme unevenness of our organisation on the ground. There has to be a frank and honest discussion about how we can rebuild our organisation. Involving a full autopsy of our areas of strength and weakness. In the past, the suggestion that the union leadership should be open with members about which areas are stronger or weaker...

Equalise civil service pay!

John Moloney is standing for the Assistant General Secretary position in the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), as part of an Independent Left slate for the union's National Executive Committee. He spoke to Solidarity about his election campaign, and PCS's current ballot for industrial action over pay in the civil service. The union's headline demand is for a 10% pay increase. That has been variously interpreted as a demand for a 10% increase to the overall civil service pay budget, or a 10% increase per worker. The Independent Left argues that the union should foreground the demand...

Crisis in the CWI

A crisis in the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international network associated with the Socialist Party of England and Wales (SP), has broken into the open. Several members’ bulletins have been “leaked” and a document from a majority of the International Secretariat (IS) of the CWI, led by SP general secretary Peter Taaffe, declaring a faction. An obscure incident in the Irish group (obscure to this writer) appears to have levered much wider political tensions to the surface. Disagreements cover women’s liberation, LGBT rights, trade unions, the national question, and...

Industrial news in brief

The next Workers’ Liberty London forum will feature John Moloney, a candidate for Assistant General Secretary of the civil service union PCS. PCS leaders claim that theirs is “the fighting union”. John will argue that rank-and-file democracy, officials on a worker’s wage, and a fight to level up to national pay rates, are needed to move from “fighting” talk to effective reality. Friday 12 April, 7 p.m.. Room 828, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL Outsourced rail workers to strike Two groups of outsourced workers on London Overground will strike on 2 April and 4-6 April...

Industrial news in brief

Outsourced workers from four trade unions united for a day of action on Tuesday 26 February. Members of the IWGB at University of London, UVW at the Ministry of Justice, and PCS at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy all struck to demand better pay and conditions, and direct employment. RMT London Transport Regional Council, which organises outsourced workers on London Underground, also supported the demonstration. Guards' jobs: nail down the deal! The breakthrough in the big railworkers’ dispute to save train guards’ jobs is a cause for celebration, but some caution...

Industrial news in brief

A joint union day of action against outsourcing has been called for Tuesday 26 February, 8 a.m. to noon in London. It is sponsored by the IWGB (Independent Workers of Great Britain, a small new union focused on precarious workers), United Voices of the World (UVW, an organisation similar to IWGB), the BEIS Branch of the PCS civil service union, and the Bakerloo and Finsbury Park branches of the rail union RMT. The demonstration will coincide with the day the IWGB is facing the government and the University of London in a landmark legal case. If successful, the case could open the door for the...

PCS election: back John Moloney!

As reported in Solidarity earlier this year there are likely to be three candidates in total vying to be the next Assistant General Secretary of PCS following incumbent Chris Baughs’ victory over senior union employee Stella Dennis for the nomination of the leadership faction, Left Unity. Baugh’s victory has led to a bit of a fallout in the leadership camp. Strongly opposed by Mark Serwotka and the ‘grandees’ of the union’s leadership, including the acting President and majority of Vice-Presidents on the grounds of ‘conservatism, ‘defeatism’ and ‘opposition to union and Left Unity policy’ it...

Universal Credit workers to strike

Universal Credit Service Centre workers in PCS at the Walsall and Wolverhampton offices are the first to ballot for strike action over staffing levels and capacity within the Universal Credit operations in DWP. Members have long standing grievances with DWP bosses over a horrific lack of staff (their demand is for at least 5000 new staff to cope with the workload), a reduction in the amount of calls per day each worker is expected to handle and an end to the draconian target driven culture in offices. While the employer has finally accepted that staffing levels are too low and announced extra...

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