PCS members strike on budget day
Thousands take action to defend livelihoods and job security
Civil servants were out across Wales in a strike to defend pay and conditions. Wet or dry, pickets were determined to stand up to the government as Osborne prepared to deliver his budget for the rich.
"Solid strike action by PCS members across Swansea and South West Wales meant most offices were fully closed or providing a limited service.
"Torrential rain didn't dampen the determined spirit of those on the picket lines. Carrie Anne Watkins, branch organiser for the large Pensions Centre in Swansea reflected the mood of the dozen or so picket line when she said 'This is not just about pay but its about the ongoing attacks on our conditions as well'. At the huge DVLA office Dave Warren, PCS branch officer, echoed a similar sentiment but added that the ConDems attacks on facility time for trade union reps means that he is facing a cut of 50% in the time that he is allowed to represent members.
"There was a strong picket line at the Land Registry where Liz, their PCS rep said the government are determined to privatise Land Registry because they are actually making money!
"Socialist Party members visited picket lines at the DWP in Llanelli, as well as other offices in town and also in Carmarthen and other parts of West Wales.
"As one picket thanked us for our solidarity and support she reminded us that this was the first round of action and expected to see us again on April 5th!"
The April 5th half day action was also discussed on picket lines in Cardiff and Newport.
It was dry in East Wales, but cold. Non union members joined PCS so they could go on strike at the DWP office in Newport. Pickets were under no illusion that further action would be not be necessary on April 5th.
"Socialist Party members had a friendly reception on picket lines.
"Workers were using our leaflets on the National Assembly picketline and the demand for our demand for a one-day general strike alongside other unions got a good response at Companies House, HMRC and elsewhere."
"The only disappointing thing is that other unions are not coming out today with us" one picket in Newport remarked. Everyone agreed we need a one day general strike. The support that there is for action was shown by UCU members who showed solidarity on the picket lines in Newport.
Next month bigger pension contributions will be taken from public sector workers' pay packets along with another cut in pay in real terms. Across the board workers are under attack. Teachers' pay could be decided at the whim of headteachers. Wider action is inevitable.
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