As we run up to the 30 November strike, union branches in the PCS union should be making their final preparations to win members over to take action on the day.
Members meeting should be happening now. This is not only to firm up the members but also to beat the ban on such meetings being held in offices that many parts of the civil service try to enforce closer to a strike day.
Of course meetings should also be held in the week or so before the 30th. If branches can have them on the premise, so much the better – if they cannot then meetings in car parks, local venues etc. should take place.
Branches should be talking to members in any case, indentifying any who need to be persuaded to take action etc.
All the way up to the 30th branches must try and recruit non members; flooding workplaces with recruitment forms and literature as to why staff should join the union.
In many work places there is a ban on such activity – where this is in place then staff should be leafleted on the doors into the work place. The formation of such “information lines” where activists stand outside the workplace talking and leafleting is good preparation for the picket lines to come.
Union notice boards should be cleared of all old material and only stuff concerning the 30th should be put up.
PCS, as like many other unions, has an ordering system where branches can order picket arms bands, posters etc. Orders for this material should be placed as soon as possible – it is too late on the day to find out that you don’t have the right material.
A little research as to the timings of postal and other deliveries should be made; the aim being to persuade postal and other workers not to make deliveries on the 30th. Indeed if you can talk to the local CWU branch in advance that would be good.
Where there is a local paper issue a press release; most will run it. Ask them to interview union members; invite them down to the information lines and the picket lines on the 30th.
Prepare a leaflet for the 30th that can be handed out to members of the public explain what is happening.
It would be a good idea to start to draw up picket rosters in the here and now. Of course a lot will change between now and the 30th but early planning hopefully will ensure a core of people who can be depended upon to turn up on the lines.
If you find yourself short on number then ask other local PCS branches if you can borrow some of “theirs” for the day. Of course it would be better if you could persuade your own members to sign up.
If there is a local workplace where other public sector unions will be on strike as well then try and make contacts with them. If possible hold an all unions activist/members meetings in advance of the 30th.
If you can arrange a publicity stunt in advance of the 30th or on the day then do so. On some picket lines people dress up; so picket duty can be fun! So enjoy it.