2,000 IN N-EAST STRIKE
Workers walk out over pensions
THOUSANDS of public sector workers were today on strike across the North-east.
Workers at 20 government offices, including Aberdeen courts, coastguard and HM Revenue and Customs, were walking out in protest over cuts to pensions and pay.
UK Border Agency staff working on screening for international arrivals at Aberdeen Airport could also be affected by the strike, although airport bosses said they expected today’s operations to run normally.
Mark Chapman, chairman of the Aberdeen branch of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, said he expected 2,000 members would be on strike.
He added: “These cuts don’t add up and they will just run the economy down. If we accept these deals from the government it will have a knock-on effect on the private sector because we will not be spending our money in the shops.”
Mr Chapman said public sector workers were angry banks were not “paying their fair share”.
And he said private sector workers who complained about cuts to their own pensions should look to the people at the top.
He added: “We keep getting told we’re all in this together – but we are not.
“It’s particularly difficult when MPs are not having their pension contributions revised.”
A pay freeze for public sector workers represents a real-term pay cut of 10%, according to the PCS, as inflation has been at 5% for the last two years.
He added that 28,000 jobs had already been lost in the past five years – with another 14,000 set to go before 2015.
PICKET: Aberdeen Sheriff Court staff on strike today.