PCS members last year on 15 March national strike (Picture: Guy Smallman)

Civil servants in the PCS union have voted 83.7 percent whether to strike for an inflation-proofed pay rise and pay restoration in 171 civil service areas. But in most government departments, including DWP and HMRC, less than 50 percent of members voted, so they didn’t beat the anti-union law threshold.

The employer groups that beat the 50 percent threshold include DVSA, HM Land Registry, DEFRA and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. It was right to call that strike ballot, but it was far later than it should have been.

PCS conference, that is taking place this week, should agree that all the departments that exceeded the threshold be called out on strike as soon as possible. There also need to be re-ballots of all the bargaining areas that failed to meet the threshold.

The Democracy Alliance fraction, mainly made up of Left Unity members, has lost its majority on the National Executive Committee. The Coalition for Change, which now forms the majority on the NEC, believes that members have voted for them because there is a mood for radical change. We need to see that change in practice.

Steve West

United strikes over pay could go nuclear

Up to 500 workers at the Urenco nuclear site in Capenhurst in Cheshire have voted to strike. The members of the GMB union rejected bosses’ offer of a 5.2 percent pay rise. The GMB, Unite and Prospect unions represent workers at Urenco. The GMB said that all unions would come together to discuss when workers should strike.

Bosses bottle a Norwich pay offer

More than 100 workers at the Berry factory in Norwich are on strike over bosses’ 3.5 percent pay offer. The pay increase was due last October when RPI inflation was at 6.1 percent. The workers walked out last Sunday for three days.

They are set to walk out from Tuesday next week for three days, as well as two days in June. The Unite union members produce caps and lids for cleaning, personal hygiene, medicinal and food and drink products.

Strike while the warehouse is hot

Over 100 Unite union members employed by GXO Logistics in Feltham, west London, were set to walk out on Monday this week. The workers planned action until 7 June, but will now start strikes on Tuesday next week until 18 June instead. The new dates, the Unite union says, include weekend shifts. Warehouse workers take home just over £12 an hour, which is below market rate.

Canteen workers cook up a pay win

Canteen workers at Drax power station in North Yorkshire who work for BaxterStorey have won a 19 percent pay rise, according to their Unite union. The strikers walked out for six weeks at the beginning of December last year. The workers secured an additional £1 per hour site bonus, on top of winning the real living wage from January this year.

Bus workers’ strikes are just the ticket

Bus controllers working for Transport UK in south London won a pay rise of 12 percent. This is an 8 percent pay rise backdated to January 2023 and 4 percent for this year.

The 40 strikers control the bus routes, instruct drivers on traffic jams or accidents and ensure safety on the routes at Battersea and Twickenham bus garages. They walked out for eight days in May, as well as two in January and four in February

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