PCS Members stage hugh vote for strike action

Socialist Alternative members in the Public and Commercial Services Union

The PCS ballot result is a historic one, it is the first time since the Tory anti-trade union laws came into effect in 2016 that PCS has been able to win a national ballot on national demands. As with the other ballots taking place recently this is yet another sign working class people are sick of the attacks on them by the bosses.

Hard work of activists

This victory is down to the hard work of members and activists throughout the union who have spent the past 10 months fighting to ensure the union is prepared for the ballot.

Whilst the disaggregated way this ballot means that some big groups like HMRC won’t be able to take action, those like the DWP will be able to take action to demand progress on demands of pay, pensions and conditions for all civil servants. We believe all those groups who did not pass the 50% threshold should be reballoted as soon as possible, not just HMRC, and serious resources committed by the union to ensure these groups get over the line.

PCS moving into action has already won some demands, such as the dropping of the arbitrary threat to 91,000 jobs which was proposed by the previous Johnson government. But the risk to jobs still exists, and needs to be fought against.

This will mean sustained action is necessary in areas where our members will have the biggest impact, and a move away from isolated one-day strikes which have marked PCS action in the past.

Coordinate and escalate

PCS members in HMCTS, BEIS and Disclosure and Barring are already taking action over various issues, so it’s important these actions are coordinated with wider action on pay.

We also need to coordinate with other unions. The RCN has also voted for historic strike action, the RMT, CWU and UCU are taking national action. The leaderships of the unions are meeting in the coming days and should name the date where we all strike together. But we need coordination not just at the top of the movement but at workplace and branch level, and between reps and stewards from different unionsWe need to join together to coordinate and escalate our action, and bring even more unions in to the struggle and more towards generalised action. 

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