PCS members and supporters on the picket line in Birkenhead today PCS members working for the Land Registry are holding a two-day strike today and tomorrow – 14 and 15 May – against privatisation, job cuts and office closures. PCS has organised a massi …
PCS members working for the Land Registry are holding a two-day strike today and tomorrow – 14 and 15 May – against privatisation, job cuts and office closures.
PCS has organised a massive campaign, with the support of industry professionals and MPs, against proposals to privatise the Land Registry.
Members based in Durham, Fylde, Birkenhead, Hull, Telford, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Peterborough, Croydon, Weymouth, Gloucester, Plymouth and Swansea have all been supporting the action.
In Coventry 98% of staff are on strike, and there have been several visitors to the picket including local councillor David Nellist and BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio station.
Pickets out in force
There is a 90% turnout in Weymouth with a well supported picket line. Members have conducted interviews with Wessex FM and BBC Radio Solent.
Dozens of people are on the picket line in Birkenhead where only 25 out of 350 staff have gone to work. There is lots of support from the public and workers in neighbouring offices.
In Telford 80% of staff are on strike and there is a picket line, while in Leicester the turnout is 70%, with 2 picket lines, and Radio Leicester has covered the action.
Members in Nottingham have been out bright and early spreading the message about our campaign on their picket line and outside the city’s train station.
There are excellent turnouts on picket lines at the Land Registry HQ in Croydon and also in Swansea. In Swansea only 90 out of 320 staff have entered the office and there have been messages of support from MPs Sian James and Geraint Davies, along with Welsh Assembly member Mike Hedges, as well as NUT and Unison.
Show of support
Solidarity messages have flooded in to strikers from across the UK.
Northampton Trade Council president Ron Mendel said: “I am sending our best wishes for your campaign to prevent the sell-off of the Land Registry.”
Lawrence Dunne, chair of Disclosure and Barring Service PCS branch, said: “We want to congratulate those taking part in the action for fighting to defend not only their jobs but also such an important service. Taking action is difficult, but what option do any of us have when we are faced with a government and employers who are so dogmatic in their strategy to demolish public services as we know them?
“Whatever the outcome, you are an inspiration to us all.”
Glenn Bayliss, secretary of Cheltenham and District TUC said: “This is obviously an ideological project hastened and embarked upon from an opportunity seeking government that puts shareholder profit in front of service in the civil and public sector.
“With the weather clement let’s hope a successful and safe 2 days of action ensues. As succinctly put ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’.”
Louise Walton, Natural England PCS branch secretary, said: “Solidarity greetings to all Land Registry members for taking decisive action to defend jobs and services against the attacks of this ruthless profit driven government.
“We are facing similar attacks in the Efra group and are encouraged by the stance you have taken. We wish you the very best in your campaign. Your fight is our fight and we look forward to standing shoulder to shoulder with you again soon.”
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with you in spirit in your time of need. Good luck and well done,” was the message from DWP PCS Northumbria branch.
Ian Hodson president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union sent his “best wishes in your fight”.
Lewisham Green party also backed the strike.
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In the media
Group president Michael Kavanagh has written an article for the Guardian’s websiteexplaining why members are striking.
Michael wrote: “We have seen – but cannot disclose because of a confidentiality agreement – the details of unpublished plans to radically alter the way the Land Registry operates, which would mean mass job losses and office closures and to which this privatisation proposal is inextricably linked.
“We asked the government to publish and fully consult on these plans but it has flatly refused. We have also repeatedly asked the agency’s chief executive, Ed Lester, for assurances there will be no compulsory redundancies, but he has promised the exact opposite.”
Regional newspapers across the country have been covering the build-up to the action.
What you can do
- Send messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sign the petition against privatisation
- Watch the campaign video
- Tweet: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Tell the govt not to privatise the Land Registry. Back striking PCS members 14-15 May @SaveLandReg #pcs
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