PCS striker Matt well reports from a picket line in Cambridge on the first day of a two day strike by civil service workers against plans by the government to attack redundancy payment terms.
It was a freezing morning but spirits were high. My mate Carol
picked me up at 6.30am so we could arrive at the gates of our workplace
together, When we arived we were pleased to see Leon was already set up
with placards, picket signs and PCS flags draped all around the gates.
Staff started arrving soon after hoping to beat the pickets. By around
7 o’clock we were 6 strong with reps from the bigger employers on site-
HMRC and Government Office plus myself for Efra Group.
My toes felt like icicles within a few minutes but I soon forgot about that with the banter amongst us all.
dustcart stopped across the road sounding it’s horn. They told us they
weren’t going to cross our picket line to collect the rubbish. The
postman who drove in soon afterwards didn’t take any persuading to turn
around either! Later on a postal worker turned up to show support on
his way in for the afternoon indoor shift. He remembered us from the
picket lines during the postal dispute last year and came to show his
Carol’s coffee went down well and we were even brought a tray of
hot drinks out to us by a sympathetic manager.We had a visit from three
Cambridge University Students, who were eager to discuss the issues
behind our action.
Text messages started coming in from around the country. Carlisle,
Workington, Worcester, Liverpool, Reading, Nottingham and York. Despite
the cold pickets had been out in force and the turnout for the strike
is looking good.
The Socialist Appeal also sold well !
We are expecting Day 2
of the action to see a bigger turnout. Those who came in today will no
doubt think again when set out tomorrow morning.