Public Workers 48-Hour Strike Begins

More than 270,000 civil and public servants from across the UK have begun a 48 hour stoppage over cuts to redundancy terms.

Courts, jobcentres, driving tests, tax offices, border controls and passports are amongst some of the services that will be affected by the strike action taken by Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members.

Civilian staff working for the Met Police and security staff working in the House of Parliament have also taken strike action for the first time in over 25 years.

The dispute is over changes to the civil service compensation scheme which will see staff lose up to a third of their entitlements.

PCS said it fears the government wants to make it easier for whoever wins the general election to cut low paid civil and public servants on the cheap.

Over 20 rallies in towns and cities across the UK will be taking place today.

Tomorrow morning will see a battle bus take to the streets in London, touring picket lines in the capital.

There will also be a march in central London which will finish with a rally in Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue.

In a separate dispute, around 1,000 PCS members working for Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services will be also striking on 8 and 9 March in a row over pay freezes and job losses.

Those taking part in the HP stoppage work mainly on IT contracts for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and General Motors Services.

The four HP sites involved are Newcastle, Washington, Preston and the Fylde Coast.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "Loyal civil and public servants won’t stand by and allow the government to cut jobs on the cheap. Those on strike today deliver services that touch our everyday lives from the cradle to the grave.

"Under these imposed changes, they face losing up to a third of their entitlements and tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of their job. The government is tearing up the contracts of low paid civil and public servants whilst it claims it can do nothing about bankers’ bonuses because of contractual obligations.

"The government need to recognise that slashing entitlements and cutting jobs on the cheap will damage public services and reach an agreement that protects existing members’ entitlements."


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