‘We warned the government our dispute would escalate if they did not listen’

The PCS union has announced that 100,000 civil servants will take strike action on February 1, as its dispute with the government escalates.

124 government departments will be affected and the strike action will take place on the same day as the TUC’s day of action against the government’s anti-strike laws.

It will be the largest civil service strike for years and signals a significant escalation of industrial action after a month of strikes over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.

A further 33,000 members working in five more departments, including HMRC, are next week re-balloting to join the union’s national strike action.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “During the last month, when thousands of PCS members across a range of departments took sustained industrial action, the government said it had no money.

“But it managed to find millions of pounds to spend on managers and military personnel in a failed attempt to cover the vital work our members do.

“We warned the government our dispute would escalate if they did not listen – and we’re as good as our word. We will not stand by as hardline Tory MPs like Richard Drax tell our hard-working members they should be grateful to have jobs.

“I am meeting with the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Jeremy Quin, tomorrow – if he puts some money on the table there is a chance this dispute can be resolved. If he doesn’t, then he’ll see public services from benefits to driving tests, from passports to driving licences, from ports to airports affected by industrial action on February 1.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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