Home > Strike! > All Out On May 10th

All Out On May 10th


The London Passport Office will not get much done on Thursday so why don’t they just close it for the day?   ***   Why we’re striking   ***   Looking for a picket line to join?  Join us!   ***   Solidarity with our Border Comrades!

PCS recently approached management about the issue of safety for the public on strike days.  On November 30th the office remained open but with minimal staff, including some commercial sector passport staff not involved in the strike.  The office did not have enough first aiders or fire marshals to be safe and yet the building remained open simply to save face – indeed they managed to produce just 14 passports that day as opposed to the usual 750 and didn’t manage to interview a single customer when they normally achieve 90.

Last week we proposed to management that the safest arrangement ahead of May 10th would be to close the building and cancel passport appointments with the public.  The employer has a duty of care to protect the public entering the building and if it hasn’t enough staff to do so it needs to act responsibly and close down for the day.

***

On May 10th PCS members in the London Passport Office, HQ and Customer Service Offices around the South East of England will join with their Home Office and wider civil service colleagues in striking against the pensions changes imposed by the government.  We are also striking alongside other unions in the public sector, covering a number of public sector pension schemes facing similar changes. 

The changes being imposed upon us will have a major effect on members.  They will have to pay more in contributions, work longer until retirement and get a smaller pension.  We also need to remember how political and ideological a move this is.  The contributions do not actually go into a pension pot.  They go direct to the Treasury.  This is nothing more than an extra income tax and the fact that the government can now seemingly impose this is a worrying situation.  They seem to have hit upon a clever way of generating money. 

This change is unjust, unfair and unwarranted.  Public sector pensions are getting cheaper so it suggests they want to do it for reasons they have yet to disclose fully.  The spectre of privatisation may not be far over the horizon.  For these reasons we must strike.  We cannot afford not to and any concession reached via negotiations will more than pay for a few days of lost salary!

***

If you want to show support for the strike and join a  picket line in London on May 10th come to the London Passport Office!  The more the merrier.  We normally have a vibrant picket line with press and broadcast journalists in attendance.  You’ll get a warm welcome, especially if you bring hot drinks!

***

In the Home Office we have seen how devastating the cuts have been with borders compromised and queues becoming a major issue at our airports.  Members at Heathrow must feel at the front line of this battle.  In Passports we are seeing a similar crisis with demand far outstripping capacity and senior management openly talking of having to move resources around week by week just to stay afloat.  The Home Office stands at the forefront of this dispute and the media are likely to focus on this.  We stand in solidarity with our border comrades and wish them a successful May 10th!

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