Stop union busting at the heart of the government

pcs_stop_union_busting_logorConservative ministers have launched a campaign of union-busting at the very heart of government, the UK civil service.

Led by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, government departments have cut facility time by 60%, and are trying to end “check-off”, the decade’s old method through which employers collect union subscriptions direct from a member’s salary. These actions are an attempt to undermine the organisation, membership and finances of the civil service unions and in particular the largest union, PCS.

In HM Revenue and Customs a leaked management memo showed that there were plans to marginalise PCS and deal only with more compliant unions. This is clearly part of an agenda to weaken unions in order to put through more cuts more easily. Recently the Home Office served an injunction on PCS, on grounds of national security, to prevent the union publicising the effects of government cuts in the UK Border Agency.

Taken together these actions are an attempt to union-bust at the heart of government, and in particular to undermine PCS, a union which has consistently opposed cuts to jobs, pay and pensions, and resisted privatisation.

Their actions show how the Tories will attack union rights across the whole public sector if they form a government after the election. But their actions also give the green light to employers to go on the offensive against unions across the UK.

Our movement represents millions of voters and their families and communities. We all need strong unions and need to put our rights at the centre of the 2015 general election.

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