Massive picket lines launch first day of April’s targeted strike action – PCS Union


“You can’t shush us. At the British Library in London there were about 45 members on the picket line.”

By the PCS Union

PCS members and supporters have been out in force across the UK, making their voices heard and getting their message across.

Picket lines were held today at HM Passport Office sites in every country of the UK, as well as at the British Library, Government Digital Services in London and the Animal and Plant Health Agency in Carlisle, 

At HM Passport Office in Durham, 25 to 30 members were on the picket line despite the cold. The members reported feeling really positive and despite the site being a bit out of the way, they still got a good number of beeps and waves from passing cars and vans. ITN news visited and interviewed branch secretary Karen Alderson.

In Southport over 20 members were on picket lines with all three entrances to the site covered. There were lots of supportive beeps from the general public and one PCS member who isn’t in the group taking targeted action said she felt tearful crossing the picket line.

In Belfast there were 6 official pickets and 22 members on the picket line from 7.30am. Gerry Carroll MLA, West Belfast said: “Solidarity from People Before Profit, to all PCS members taking strike action in the Passport Office, fighting for fair pay.”

In Liverpool there were over 80 members and supporters on the picket line which was visited by Ian Byrne, MP for Liverpool West Derby.

In Glasgow there were about 90 on the picket line with children, dogs and lots of public support. There was a visit from Glasgow Strike Solidarity and Glasgow West Solidarity Group, and the picket line was addressed by Dave Moxham, deputy general secretary of the STUC and Gordon Martin, RMT Scottish Secretary. Charlie Liddle, branch secretary of DWP Glasgow also visited the picket line with solidarity greetings from his branch.

In Newport, there were 20 on the picket line, most of them new members. They had visits from the media, LBC World Radio, South Wales Argus and Wales Online, also representatives from Ruth Jones MP and local councillors to show support.

Peterborough passport office was also visited by local media and a photo on shows members of the public having to queue to get into the office. Reps on the picket line were interviewed by ITV Anglia and BBC Cambridgeshire

You can’t shush us. At the British Library in London there were about 45 members on the picket line. They were visited by Alex Gordon, president of the RMT.

One member held a homemade placard that read “We are librarians, you can’t SHUSH us! #FAIRPAY”

Service in the Library was severely impacted with only two reading rooms open, and senior management covering posts in the security control room. Colleagues who are Prospect members are also on a work-to-rule.

Members from the Government Digital Service (GDS) held a picket line in Whitechapel attended by around 20 members. The pickets were visited by local trades councils and other union activists and a PCS NEC member. They were also entertained by poet Chip Harmer. 

Featured image: RMT President Alex Gordon visits striking PCS members at the British Library in London on April 3rd, 2023. Photo credit: PCS Union/Twitter

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