PCS Strike to defend pay, jobs and conditions

Thousands of members in Revenue and Customs, the Department for Work & Pensions and the Valuations Office Agency walked out yesterday morning.

130603 Newcastle2The strongly-supported joint strike was the first in a series of regional strikes taking place all week as part of the national campaign to defend pay, jobs and conditions.

The North East and Yorkshire were two of the regions affected today as members across the departments showed their discontent with the government by picketing offices, leafleting in town centres and then joining the large rallies in Newcastle, Leeds and Bradford.

The regions were chosen specifically to coincide with the pilot to close 13 Revenue and Customs enquiry centres in north east England and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Some of the highlights from the action today include: • Record 95% turnout at HMRC Washington in Waterview Park. Reports of two post vans being turned away • 590 DWP members out of 600 are out on strike in Stockton • Excellent coverage in the local media. The Scarborough News headline read, “Striking government workers have disrupted services in Scarborough.”

“We had a really good turnout and the appearance of the sun put everyone in a good mood,” said Jean Manuel, rep at Revenue and Customs in Benton Park View, Newcastle. “We had a few reps from the DWP join us and we managed to stop a mail van going through. A few members then went into the town to leaflet prior to a rally. We really do feel we are winning the argument against the cuts and we are leading the debate on tax justice.”

Attention now switches to the north west and Northern Ireland with pickets and rallies tomorrow in areas including: Liverpool, Manchester and Preston.