NOW will you listen. 12,000 civil servants walk out over cuts
Twelve thousand PCS members from the transport and environment departments are today on strike over cuts and closures that threaten vital services to the public.
Following two months of rolling strikes across the Department for Transport, the union’s 8,500 DfT members will be joined by 3,500 from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the walkout.
As well as picket lines across the country, members in London will march from 2pm from Smith Square, via Marsham Street, for a rally in Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament.
PCS members in the Home Office, facing thousands of job cuts and draconian changes to their terms and conditions, are also expected to join the march.
Among the issues under dispute in the DfT are plans to close almost half of the UK’s coastguard stations; the closure of all 39 of the DVLA’s local offices and 10 enforcement centres; and cuts and the threat of privatisation in the Driving Standards Agency.
There are similar concerns over job cuts and privatisation in Defra. And all of this comes on top of a pay freeze and the looming threat of the imposition of local or regional pay, which would drive living standards down even further.
DfT members will be on strike all day and Defra members will walk out for three hours from 1.30pm.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Despite all the evidence pointing to the fact that austerity isn’t working, this government is ploughing ahead with unnecessary and damaging cuts that will deprive our communities of vital public services.
“As we approach the TUC anti-cuts demonstrations on 20 October and beyond, we believe more co-ordinated industrial action like this will be necessary, not just between civil service departments but across the public sector, if the government refuses to change course on cuts to jobs, pay and pensions.”
21 Sep 2012 – 15:36 by WDNF