Steve Moorcroft | 20.08.2001 20:28
The strike today received widespread support from staff with about only 30 staff crossing picket lines in Exeter and as few as 12 attending work at the BCMS office in Workington. The main Headquarters office (Nobel House) saw fewer than 60 in attendance and these were forced to evacuate the building from 11.00am after a security alert unrelated to the strike.
Picketing at London offices was very successful, with a significant number of non-members joining the union on the morning rather than crossing picket lines. Workers from the Fire Brigade, Westminster College and other Government Departments brought messages of support and postal workers and others refused to cross picket lines in solidarity with the striking civil servants.
The protest in London finished with a lively rally in Victoria Tower Gardens. The speakers included local PCS union officials as well as supporters from the Food Standards Agency, the Benefits Agency, the DLTR and civilian staff from the Metropolitan Police Authority. In an ironic twist those staff from Nobel House who failed to respect the picket lines found themselves stranded outside the building after a suspect package was delivered there.
The campaign will continue with selective strike action by key sections within the Department and a work to rule.