All out on 14 October, but….

Whilst the PCS NEC has not made a formal decision as yet, it is inconceivable that the PCS will not join in with the increasing number of unions who have called or are planning to call a strike on the 14 October. Indeed the union’s whole strategy is predicated on the need for such joint action. Unfortunately there is no evidence that a one day strike will move this government.

That is why, whilst welcoming PCS joining in with the other unions, we ask not only ‘what next’ but also ‘what happens if..’. We say this as there is abundant evidence that such cross union coalitions are unstable (the prime example being the pension fiasco in 2011). Indeed at least one leading light in the union believes that there will be no further action by Unison and Unite this side of the general election so as not to embarrass Mr Miliband.

Therefore it is vital for PCS and other unions to have plans in place for action beyond the 14th and action even if many of the coalition partners decide to opt out of a further fight. If such plans are not made then although the 14th will be wonderful, with the power of the labour movement plain for all to see, we will have to repeat the words of the French general in the Crimean war on observing the charge of the Light Brigade; he said ‘it is magnificent but it is not war’.



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