Fight redundancies in HMRC
By Gerry Noble*
HMRC management have announced mass closures to offices throughout the country.
170 offices are scheduled to close being replaced with only 13 Regional Centres and 4 Specialist Sites by 2020.
These closures will inevitably lead to redundancies for thousands of staff and cause further poverty to many of our already inadequately paid members forced to accept an increase in travel costs. (The short term compensation outweighed by reductions in Working Tax Credits in most cases)
Local economies will see a devastating effect and communities built upon a long-standing Public Sector presence destroyed.
On 24 November the SNP raised an opposition motion in Parliament which was supported by many Labour MPs. The Tory minister shamelessly accepted the inevitable redundancies and refused to address equality impact concerns.
Unfortunately this opposition motion was lost but of course our campaign continues.
In terms of the response of PCS, we believe it to be ludicrous for the HMRC Group Executive to continue talks with the employer under their current dispute (Jobs and Staffing) as the employer has clearly demonstrated a refusal to consult in any meaningful way in order to protect the jobs and wellbeing of our members.
My proposal as the Independent Left (Left opposition faction within PCS) voice on the HRMC executive to suspend talks immediately following the announcements with HMRC was denounced as “nonsense” by some!
Ironically, we consider the continuation of talks with the employer after this shattering closure program was announced to make a nonsense of industrial relations and conference policy and offensive to our members.
As far as we in Independent Left are concerned, PCS needs to immediately withdraw from talks with the employer and respect the members’ mandate to pursue an industrial response relative in scale to the office closure announcements.
* PCS HMRC Group Executive Committee and PCS Independent Left
DLR workers to escalate strikes
By Ollie Moore
Members of the Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers’ union (RMT) on London’s Docklands Light Railway will launch a series of escalating strikes from 11 January, as workers step up their fight against casualisation and management bullying.
RMT has announced an extensive programme of strikes, including walkouts on various days between 11-14 January, 8-12 February, 7-12 March, and 21 March-2 April.
The announcement represents a significant break from the common labour movement practice of only announcing one or two days of strikes.
• Full article: bit.ly/DLRstrike
Sheffield housing workers to strike
GMB members working for Sheffield council’s housing service will strike over changes to terms and conditions after the introduction of a new management scheme, Housing Plus.
Workers will work to rule from now, leading up to strikes in January.
Workers say the restructure will result in pay cuts as well as a deskilling and downgrading of their jobs. The new system has been piloted in areas of the city and workers say it doesn′t work for staff or for service users.
Peter Davies, regional organiser for the GMB said: “not only have the council annihilated the terms and conditions, they are forcing through something which doesn’t work.”