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From: The Socialist issue 1062, 30 October 2019: Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

Search site for keywords: PCS - Union - Election - Workers - Mark Serwotka - Closures

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS union members on the 'climate strike' demo, London, 20.9.19, photo JB

PCS union members on the 'climate strike' demo, London, 20.9.19.   (Click to enlarge)

The election for the next general secretary of the 180,000-strong trade union runs from 7 November until 12 December.

Socialist Party member Marion Lloyd won 39 PCS branch nominations, the incumbent Mark Serwotka got 62, and Bev Laidlaw 17.

We call upon activists to unite behind Marion's candidacy for a union democratically controlled through its elected lay structures, and a leadership which will actively coordinate across the union the fight on pay, jobs, pensions and office closures.

Marion has spent many years building the left and fighting the right wing in the union. She has a record of success in winning for members, including a successful fight which stopped the closure of her office.

Recently, low-paid PCS members, employed by private contractors ISS and Aramark at the BEIS government offices in London, won the London Living Wage after taking indefinite strike action.

Marion - currently PCS BEIS Group President and on the national executive committee, and who has been on the BEIS picket lines - said: "I'm immensely proud of my members and the branch reps. Two victories in a few weeks after these low-paid workers took indefinite strike action shows what can be achieved. It confirms that we can attract outsourced workers into PCS and link them with members who are directly employed, with the demand that these workers are brought in-house."

Marion stands on a programme of union democracy, breaking down barriers to win equality for all and a fresh, winning approach on pay, jobs and office closures.

Speaking to the Socialist, Marion says: "Unlike Mark Serwotka, who pledged to not take the full general secretary salary but does, I will stay on my civil service wage and publish details of the money I give back to PCS."

We call upon activists to unite behind her campaign and elect her as the next PCS general secretary.

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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.
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  • 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.
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