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PORTSIDELABOR  April 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDELABOR April 2012, Week 3

Subject:

400,000 Public Sector Workers Set to Strike over 'Cruel' and 'Unfair' Pension Reforms

From:

Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 20:11:42 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

400,000 Public Sector Workers Set to Strike over
'Cruel' and 'Unfair' Pension Reforms

By Liam O'Brien 
The Independent (UK) April 17, 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/400000-public-sector-workers-set-to-strike-over-cruel-and-unfair-pension-reforms-7654567.html#

Almost 400,000 public sector workers could strike over
the Government's controversial pension reforms,
slamming George Osborne's "cruel" and "unfair" attempts
to save the Treasury tens of billions of pounds.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS)
union and Unite will take action on May 10, the day
after the Queen's Speech, which is expected to announce
a Parliamentary bill on pension changes.

The PCS, which has 290,000 workers in 200 Government
departments, promised further action after 90.5 per
cent of those balloted voted to reject the Government's
pension offer. Both national and regional protests are
expected, as well as another strike in June. Meanwhile,
Unite said its 100,000 NHS members faced paying £30
extra per month into their pension pots amidst a
backdrop of pay freezes and the prospect of a regional
pay scale. Their combined memberships mean that May 10
could signal the biggest strike since November 30, when
more than one million public sector workers took
industrial action.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The ongoing
programme of industrial action with other unions we
have agreed sends a clear message to Government
ministers that we do not accept their unnecessary plans
to force public servants to pay more and work longer
for less in retirement."

"We will continue to show that there is an alternative
to this Government's cruel and unfair cuts that clearly
are not working."

Speaking on behalf of Unite's health members, who voted
by more than 9-1 to reject the pension changes,
National officer Rachael Maskell claimed the Government
was "picking the pockets of health workers", saying:
"In the face of continued attacks, health workers will
be stepping up their campaign and looking to join other
public sector workers in taking action on May 10."

The Police Federation, however, expressed concerns that
the public sector strike could overshadow its own
planned march, also scheduled for May 10. The event, a
demonstration across central London, was meant to
highlight the "destruction" that could be wrought by 20
per cent cuts to the police.

Metin Enver, spokesman Police Federation of England &
Wales, said: "At the moment we're not sure what the
impact will be on our event. Clearly we'll need to
assess what the impact is on our own event - some of
our members might find that they have leave cancelled
if there are work requirements.

But the British public will have to endure strikes as
early as Tuesday. Workers who maintain London's Tube
lines will walk out at 4 pm on April 24, and return at
he same time on Friday. The disruption is expected to
effect the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines. The
Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) general
secretary Bob Crow said his members were simply seeking
"basic rights" in being allowed to join the Transport
for London pension scheme, but London Mayor Boris
Johnson said: "It will come as no surprise to Londoners
that, a week before the mayoral election, Ken
Livingstone's RMT friend Bob Crow is trying to hit
hard-working Londoners and businesses."

____________________________________________

PortsideLabor aims to provide material of interest to
people on the left that will help them to interpret the
world and to change it.

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