PCS pay dispute. Photo: Wikimedia Commons PCS pay dispute pickets. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The labour struggle around a fair, real wage rise in the PCS union is gathering traction, reports Floyd Codlin

As some readers might be aware, PCS (Public and Commercial Services) union is currently conducting a ballot of its members over whether to take industrial action, as part of pursuing a 5% rise for members. At the time of the last article, the ballot was due to start on June 20th. 

Since then there has been a number of updates, the first of which has been admittance by HMRC, that should there be a 50% or more vote in favour of “Yes”, then they would be compelled to start negotiations. Just as importantly, amongst both members and reps, there’s been very much a ‘can do’ spirit. 

Reps have been furiously leafleting outside workplaces in the mornings, as people arrive, holding workplace meetings during breaks (despite management intimidation in some cases). They’ve also been doing various actions such as dressing up as suffragettes (on the anniversary of when women were granted the vote), and playing football, (ballot result in the back of the net?).

There has been a true feeling of comradeship and solidarity between reps and members, with people often helping out at other workplaces. Apart from at the workplace, there’s also been activity on social media, for example Mark Serwotka & Janice Goodrich, have held a number of well attended Facebook Live Q&A sessions. 

Other examples have seen members filling out their ballot forms and then taking photos of the “X”, next to “Yes”. Others have taken photos of themselves, posting off their ballots, or done videos stating why they are voting for “Yes” and how they hope this persuades others to do the same. 

The balloting period ends on July 22nd 2018, and whatever the final result is members have stepped up to the plate here and showed that we’re still a fighting union. So Whitehall civil service mandarins and DWP/HMRC bosses take note, we intend to tear a victory for members from the very heavens and make you pay up.

 Floyd Codlin is on the Group Executive Committee for PCS (Public and Commerical Services Union), but is writing in a personal capacity.