HUNDREDS of workers across Huntingdonshire could join a one day strike later this month in a bid to save their jobs. Included are union members among more than 2,000 employees of the Defence Logistics Organisation, based at RAF Wyton and RAF Brampton, who
HUNDREDS of workers across Huntingdonshire could join a one day strike later this month in a bid to save their jobs.
Included are union members among more than 2,000 employees of the Defence Logistics Organisation, based at RAF Wyton and RAF Brampton, whose jobs are threatened by a merger with other parts of the Ministry of Defence. Their work is set to move to the south-west, operational bases or the private sector.
The day of action would also affect workers in Job Centres, benefits offices, courts and prisons and HM Customs and Revenue, other MOD employees and driving instructors.
It could also hit the processing of last-minute tax returns, leaving people facing the possibility of £100 fines.
Around 280,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union nationally are being balloted for ongoing industrial action beginning with a one-day strike on January 31.
The union is calling for action because it claims the Government is failing to give assurances on job security, and continuing drive down pay and pursue a policy of outsourcing and privatisation.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: "The decision to ballot for industrial action to secure assurances on job security and services, in addition to pay and privatisation could have been avoided if the Government had sought to negotiate meaningfully.
"Job cuts are damaging services and are completely unnecessary. Morale among the Government's own workforce has plummeted and anger has grown with tens of thousands of hard-working civil and public servants also facing a pay cut in real terms, due to the Chancellor's intention to drive down pay."
But Cabinet Office minister Pat McFadden said there was no need for a strike, and the Government would do everything in its power to minimise the effect on the public.
Mr McFadden said fewer than 35 compulsory redundancies had been announced so far. The Government would do all it could to avoid compulsory job cuts but had a duty to taxpayers to achieve value for money and use new technologies to make services more efficient.
He said: "The Civil Service, like the private sector, has to change both to meet public expectations and to adapt to the possibilities offered by new technology. There is no need for strike action."
The results of the ballot, which started last Wednesday, will be known on January 23. The union must give the employer seven days' notice of planned industrial action.