A response to John McInally and the Socialist Party

Submitted by AWL on 17 February, 2015 - 6:10 Author: Charlie McDonald

In a bizarre article published on the Socialist Party website, the vice-president of the civil service union PCS, and leading SP member, John McInally, has attacked the record of Workers’ Liberty within the PCS and the wider labour movement.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 02/11/2015 - 10:57

London bus drivers will strike again for 24 hours on Friday 13 and Monday 16 February in their dispute to level-up pay between bus companies.

This follows a 24 hour strike on Thursday 5 February, and one on Tuesday 13 January. Solidarity visited several picket lines which were lively, confident and staffed throughout the day despite propaganda from Transport for London (TfL) claiming high numbers of services were still running.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 4 February, 2015 - 11:54 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Ollie Moore and Peggy Carter

Teachers at Merrill Academy, Derbyshire, have been on strike for six days through January in a dispute over unattainable appraisal targets and denial of pay progression.

Both teaching unions, the NUT and the NASUWT, are taking part in the strike and have been staging daily picket lines. However picket lines were suspended on January 29 after drivers, believed to be a non-striking members of staff, drove aggressively at pickets over several days, leading to a striker and a student being hit by a car.

Hold the Socialist Party and Mark Serwotka to account!

Submitted by AWL on 3 February, 2015 - 5:58 Author: James Marine

The Socialist Party (SP) has defended the PCS civil service union’s decision to “suspend” national and Group elections for up to a year. (Groups are the major sub-parts of the union.)

The SP headlined its article: “PCS: Safeguarding its future in the face of vicious Tory attacks”.

“Faced with a temporary but very sharp drop in income as a result of check-off ending, the PCS National Executive Commitee (NEC) has had to make difficult decisions to cut expenditure, including suspending for one year the union’s annual elections”.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 28 January, 2015 - 11:36 Author: Peggy Carter, Gemma Short and Charlotte Zalens

On Tuesday the 13 January the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) branch of the PCS union voted by an overwhelming majority to call strikes over pay.

The ICO has been lagging behind civil service pay for some time, with members’ salaries a grade behind what the rest of the civil service receive.

Stifled Story of the Month

Submitted by Matthew on 28 January, 2015 - 10:49 Author: Harry Davies

On 20 January, The Guardian reported on academic research showing benefit sanctions push people into destitution, not jobs.

The 1.9 million benefit sanctions that were imposed between June 2011 and March 2014, stopping people from receiving jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and the 43% of those sanctioned subsequently ceasing to try to claim the benefit, did reduce the unemployment figures. No surprise there. Massaging unemployment figures is what every government since the 1980s has done. 

But only 20% of those who went off benefit said they had found work.

PCS leadership suspend elections

Submitted by AWL on 30 December, 2014 - 12:56

The following (20 December) article comes from the website of the PCS activist network Independent Left, of which AWL members in the union are part. See the IL website for numerous other articles and updates on the crisis in PCS, and also the new PCS - Democracy Deferred blog. More on the campaign against this attack on trade union democracy soon.


PCS leadership attacks union democracy

Submitted by AWL on 22 December, 2014 - 7:50

From the website of the PCS Independent Left.

In an unprecedented attack on the democracy of our union the rudderless leadership of PCS has announced the suspension of National and Group elections for possibly up to 12 months.

The NEC decision – by the controlling group which risibly calls itself the Democracy Alliance – was on the basis of:

Employers discuss plans to undermine unions

Submitted by Matthew on 26 November, 2014 - 12:27

In leaked documents from HMRC (the tax and customs part of the civil service) we see in the open how bosses try to “handle” unions.

In the document a senior manager writes:“...If we are unable to persuade the new GEC (the union body that runs the PCS union in HMRC) and full time officials to change their stance this suggests that the usual rules for engagement with a trade union will not work.”

The paper recommends “aiming to marginalise PCS by maintaining dialogue only to meet statutory minimum requirements.”

Rank and file must control pay fight!

Submitted by AWL on 14 October, 2014 - 5:03 Author: Editorial

The pay of FTSE 100 directors has risen by 21% in the past year. Meanwhile average wage increases have been just 2%, 1.6% in the public sector, below price inflation of 2% (CPI) or 2.7% (RPI).

Over half of the wage rises in the last year were below RPI. In a sample survey of wage settlements for six million workers between August 2013 and August 2014, 13% faced a wage freeze and only 8.3% had a wage rise above 3%.

We are in the longest period of wage depression since records began, as a TUC report found on 12 October.