Solidarity with PCS members striking in benefits and tax

2 June 2013
Pic: (c) Kelvin Williams

Pic: (c) Kelvin Williams

On Monday June 3rd around 200,000 PCS members who work in the DWP and HMRC will start a week long rolling programme of strike action starting with a full days strike across the whole of the North East and Yorkshire and Humberside. It will then continue around the country.

This strike action is part of the PCS national campaign for jobs, pay and pensions. Many PCS members are facing their 5th year of below inflation pay rises. Jobs are being cut in the civil service every day.

Striking for the alternative

Joint National secretary of Unite the Resistance Jane Aitchison is a PCS rep in DWP, she will be striking on Monday. Jane said “My members are angry. This strike epitomises what is wrong with this country. In DWP we are facing staff cuts when there are still 2.52 million unemployed people we need to help find jobs – we certainly shouldn’t be swelling those dole queues. Every time you pick up a newspaper you read how this country is riddled with tax dodgers yet this government wants to shut tax offices.”  PCS has discovered that there is £123 billion of uncollected, avoided and evaded tax lying there waiting to be collected, more tax collectors and tax offices are needed not less.

“Tax offices, benefit offices and job centres help some of the most vulnerable people in society.” Said Jane, “Half a million people are queuing at foodbanks – many because we haven’t got enough staff to help them. More staff not less would reduce the massive number now reliant on foodbanks – that has to be our aim in the 7th richest country in the world. There is an alternative to job cuts, pay cuts and to foodbanks. We are striking for that alternative.”


DWP and HMRC regional rolling strike action 3 – 7 June.

  • Monday 3 June – North East and Yorkshire & Humberside
  • Tuesday 4 June – North West
  • Wednesday 5 June – London & South East and Midlands
  • Thursday 6 June – Wales and South West
  • Friday 7 June – Scotland and Eastern

The first day of strike action will coincide with the pilot to close 13 HMRC Enquiry Centres in North East England and Yorkshire & Humberside. As well as causing major disruption to the Government, PCS will also promote welfare and tax justice arguments and the alternative to public sector cuts. PCS is building links with other unions with the aim of mounting joint strike action in the near future to build the pressure on the Government.

Unite the resistance is asking people to visit picket lines from 7am – 9.30am each day to show solidarity.

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