7 June 2013
Regional strikes have been taking place all week as staff in Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Valuations Office Agency have supported the national campaign to defend pay, jobs and conditions with thousands of our members staying away from work.
Our members in Scotland and the east of England have been out in large numbers today showing renewed determination to demand the government gets around the negotiating table on the fundamental issues of job cuts, pay and terms and conditions.
Sunshine and camaraderie created strong morale on picket lines in Scotland.
There were pickets at nine DWP sites in Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and a turnout of 90% of members, while in DWP Glasgow contact and processing centres 95% of members stayed away from work.
DWP Lanarkshire saw almost all members walk out with 100% support at Hamilton Jobcentre – all 92 staff on strike. Four senior managers were drafted in to open the doors. At Airdrie Jobcentre Plus only the four site managers were at work, with 97% of staff on strike. Of the 330 staff at Coatbridge Benefit Centre, 96% of them joined the action.
It was a similar picture in other areas of Scotland with 95% of members walking out at Paisley Jobcentre Plus, great public support for strikers at Glasgow Benefit Centre where 95% of members joined the action and the turnout was 95% at Falkirk Child Support Agency centre.
There were very high turnouts by members at Scottish HMRC offices. More than 1,100 members stayed away from work in Cumbernauld, and there was brilliant support for action in HMRC East Kilbride with almost 1,400 members staying away from work. Car parks were empty and there was a great atmosphere with a picket line barbecue.
There were a number of visitors from local trades council and other supportive groups on the picket line at the HMRC office in Aberdeen where there was a 90% turnout. Donations were received for the hardship fund. There was a great walkout in Inverness with 95% of members staying away and huge turnouts in Irvine (100%), Portcullis House, Glasgow (98%), Cotton House, Carrick (98%) and Bathgate (90%).
In the east of England more than 2,000 DWP members went out in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk with more than 80% of members supporting the action across all sites.
Strike action closed the tax enquiry centre in Bishop’s Stortford and there were great turnouts at HMRC criminal investigations in Ipswich where 89% of members stayed away from work, nearly 700 staff were out at the HMRC office in Southend and there was a 70% turnout at HMRC Cambridge office in Eastbrook.
Dozens of people turned out for a rally in Southend, with lots of press interest and decent public support.
Rallies have also been taking place in Glasgow, Dundee and Southend.
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