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Hundreds take part in public sector strike
4:30pm Wednesday 20th March 2013 in Local News
CIVIL workers across the county staged walkouts today in a row over pay, pensions, and conditions.
HM Revenue and Customs staff at Alexander House in Southend joined picket lines in Victoria Avenue as thousands of workers nationwide took part in a strike.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union organised the industrial action to coincide with Chancellor George Osbourne’s budget announcement. Benefits services, jobcentres, and driving test centres were all expected to be disrupted.
The PCS’ branch secretary for south Essex, Andrew Lord, said: “Civil servants are uniting to defend everything we have worked for.
“We are demanding real negotiations with the government, not imposed cuts.
“Since December 2012 the PCS has been seeking meaningful negotiations with the government.
“So far we have had no response and this action has come about as part of the government’s failure to negotiate on pay, pensions, and terms and conditions.”
The union claims that its 250,000 members are suffering from a two year pay freeze and a hike in pension contributions. Many of them were expected to strike yesterday. Another half-day walkout for civil servants is also planned for April 5.
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