On 30 November, hundreds of PCS members in Bootle Taxes Branch walked out of work to join protests against government plans to rip up their rights. Other Bootle PCS branches also saw solid turnouts as demonstrations across the country showed the strength of workers’ anger over the current attacks.
Addressing around 250 members outside the Triad, branch chair Frank Doran said: “The government first attacked our jobs, then they attacked our pensions. They’ve frozen our pay for two years and are giving us another two years of pay restraint. Finally, when we thought they’d attacked us in every way they could, they come for our terms and conditions on the job.”
The demonstration, though short, made its presence felt as much of the building sat empty and angry members crowded the pavement in front of the entrance on Stanley Road.
Friday’s action follows protests initiated on 14 November by a number of branches including Bootle Taxes, on the back of the inspirational walkout in Coventry in October. After hearing the full scale of the attacks, members were told that these represented only the first steps in fighting back. The union will be balloting for strike action in the new year.
Members cheered and applauded, and were in high spirits as they held their “Don’t Rip Up Our Rights” red cards for a photograph. Those who walked out of Litherland House were more camera shy, but no less willing to defend their rights – with over a hundred being addressed by branch rep and Group Executive Committee member Vicki Searle.
Elsewhere in Bootle, around 200 members protested outside HMRC St John’s House and around 150 at the Health and Safety Executive in Redgrave Court. Other branches across the country also demonstrated, whilst members in the Department for Transport took strike action.
Members in the Triad and Litherland House are reminded that Friday’s protest took place as part of a natural break from work – it was neither strike action nor your own time. Any member challenged or threatened with disciplinary action by management should seek advice from a rep immediately.
PCS Bootle Taxes Branch thanks everyone who took part in Friday’s action.
See more pictures from protests around the country here.