Call for a national week of action against privatisation

Today, PCS members in HM Revenue & Customs took strike action over the threat of privatisation. In Bootle, a member of Liverpool Solidarity Federation and PCS activist put the following statement - calling for a national week of action against privatisation - to an assembly of striking workers, where it was approved unanimously.

HM Revenue & Customs are engaging in a 12 month pilot with two private contractors, Sitel and Teleperformance, to handle calls alongside existing staff at contact centres in Bathgate and Lilyhall. The department claims that this is merely to look at ways they can address call backlogs during peak times. However, this is a transparent attack on the jobs, terms and conditions of PCS members.

No such thing as class?

After winning the 1959 election, Harold Macmillan, a Tory Prime Minister announced that "the class war is over" - and promptly formed a cabinet boasting four lords. Forty years later, Tony Blair, Labour Prime Minister, declared that "we are all middle class now" and politicians, academics and social commentators continue to tell us there is no longer such a thing as class in modern Britain. Notions of belonging to the working class are, we are told, outdated and belong to era of flat caps, factories, steel works and going down the pit. However no matter how many times we are told this we seem determined not to believe it. In a Guardian/ICM poll in October 2007 most British people still felt bound by class, with a massive majority - 89 per cent - of those surveyed feeling their social standing determined the way they are judged by the rest of society.