Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1085/30736

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 May 2020

Unsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

Coronavirus

Coronavirus   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in PCS and Broad Left Network

PCS union reps and members at Paisley Jobcentre walked out on 24 April. Following an outbreak of Covid-19 in their office, they reached an agreement allowing staff to go home with the office closed for 72 hours. (See 'Civil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak' at socialistparty.org.uk)

Union reps at Paisley acted decisively to protect themselves and their members. They correctly determined that the health and safety of members was paramount, and collectively refused to work in a workplace they deemed unsafe.

But had they relied on advice and a lead from the union nationally, they would have been disappointed and still waiting.

A PCS Briefing, "Coronavirus - can employees refuse to attend the work place", has been recently issued. At the end of a lengthy cataloguing of bits of legislation on health and safety, the briefing concludes with a statement bereft of guidance and leadership: "This briefing provides general information about statutory rights which are available to all employees in the UK. We are not advising you to do, or refrain from doing, anything." In other words, sort it out yourself - leaving members and activists to their fate.

The incident at Paisley highlighted the need to secure arrangements which give better protection to members.

Other areas have successfully achieved this. For example a 'serious incident protocol' has been negotiated in HMRC. It has forced the closure of several HMRC buildings for periods of up to a week. The DWP PCS executive committee should negotiate a similar or better agreement for our members, and the national executive committee should try to get a similar or improved agreement to cover all our workplaces.

Broad Left Network members were active in the Paisley Jobcentre demand for a safe workplace, and in the action supporting this demand. We have no hesitation in recommending reps follow their example.

PCS should demand of management that they make all the workplace adjustments needed to ensure workers safety. These include:

Where demands are not met to the satisfaction of reps and members, a car park meeting should be held (with proper social distancing arrangements in place), to agree collectively how to respond. Stick together until a solution is agreed and accepted by members. Yes, unity is our strength in these difficult times. A lesson it seems the national leadership of the union has yet to learn. Our members' safety is not for sale.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 6 May 2020:


What we think

Bosses push to lift lockdown - they only care about profits


Coronavirus news

Dispatches from the NHS front

Bail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Homes needed to end overcrowding

Homeless left on streets during pandemic

Pay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

Them&Us

Your donations can keep the Socialist going


Test and trace

Test and trace: workers need a real plan

Tories using pandemic to shift lab testing out of NHS


Workplace news

Nationalise British Airways to stop 12,000 redundancies

Postal workers force Royal Mail back

No increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions for workers and passengers

Unsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

Further protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

Rolls Royce threatens 8,000 job losses

EDF Energy workers furloughed on 100% pay


International news

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

Trump puts profit before safety (again)


Lessons from history

The Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2


Obituary

Peter Hadden remembered


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 May 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

PCS:

triangleObituary: Paul Chettle

triangleTate strike suspended

trianglePCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action

triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

trianglePCS members in DWP reject unsafe extension of hours

Reps:

triangleNEU Special Conference: A fight for safety in schools is urgently needed

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

triangleCivil servants in Paisley protest after Covid outbreak

Health:

trianglePPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

DWP:

triangleVote Yes in DWP ballot! Reject longer opening hours

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

25/11/20

NEU

Little Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

25/11/20

Heathrow airport

Heathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

18/11/20

Socialism 2020

How will Socialism 2020 work?

18/11/20

Yorkshire

Optare: Right to strike defended

18/11/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

18/11/20

Manchester

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

18/11/20

Leicester

Stop Leicester hospital closure

18/11/20

Police

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

18/11/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialists organising for our future

18/11/20

BAME

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

18/11/20

Ilford

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

18/11/20

UCU

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

18/11/20

Hackney

Hackney council parking services brought in-house

14/11/20

Steel

Fight Tata Steel jobs threat - nationalise now!

12/11/20

TUSC

Ex-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999