Friday, 14 January 2011

PCS Strike - Defend Lodge House

As promised this morning, here is more info on the PCS strike and local Anti-Cuts action that has been circulated by the Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance. Get involved!

Lodge House Benefits Workers Striking to defend Jobs and Services
PCS members at Lodge House in Fishponds have voted to take strike action on Thursday and Friday 20th and 2st January. This is against the proposal to remove benefit processing from Lodge House and convert it to a 'telephony centre' in the short term this will lead to futher deteriotation in the quality of benefit service delivery to unemployed, sick and disabled claimants in Bristol. In the longer term it prepares the way for the privatisation of DWP telephone services and the subsequent closure of Lodge house when a contractor 'rationalises' or even 'off-shores' services to maximise profits. There will be picket lines on both days and the PCS strikers would appreciate visits or messages of support.

East Bristol Against the Cuts Meeting 7th February
Secondly, as the Lib-Dem councillors on Bristol City Council sharpen their axes, Bristol and District Anti Cuts Alliance is organising frequent sector and local meetings to build the campaign. A new Easton group will be meeting on 27th February, and the East Bristol group will be stepping up the pressure on councillors and campaigning against other cuts in Eatville, Frome Vale and Hillfields (people from St George, and indeed everyone who works in, uses or values public services in East Bristol are welcome to attend meetings and activities of either group). The next East Bristol meeting will be held at

 The Crosskeys Pub, 627 Fishponds Road, BS16 3BA
7:30 PM, Monday 7th February


  1. Correction: the new Easton anti-cuts group meets on 27 January (NOT February), from 8 to 9.30pm, at Easton Community Centre, Kilburn St, BS5 6AW. All are welcome.

    Your readers may also wish to protest at the Bristol council LibDem cabinet meeting discussing their Council budget for 2011/12 (ie how many cuts to make). Starts 6pm, 27 January, Council House, College Green, BS1. Thanks.

  2. Cheers, but another correction - if you look at the address, this is for the Fishponds group, as discussed at the ACA meeting it will be the Fishponds Anti-Cuts group, but as it was already set up as 'East Bristol Against Cuts' several months ago it will use that name for now to avoid confusion for those that came along then! The venue is directly opposite Lodge House, so building support for the strike will be an important part of the campaign.

  3. No problem the first correction is correct -- the orignal post gives the right date, but the wrong month for the Easton meeting -- thanks for adding the venue.

    Also see this from Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance:

    Bristol City Council has banned a rally that Bristol & District Anti-Cuts Alliance intends to hold on Saturday 19 February.

    Our plan is to follow the traditional route of assembling at Castle Park and marching to a rally on College Green in front of the Council House.

    When we applied for permission to use Castle Park and College Green they refused, saying we were out of the six weeks notice the require for an "event". This did not stop them last time and, in discussions we had with the LibDem Leader of the Council, Barbara Janke, she agreed that this notice period should not apply to political rallies which have to respond to events.

    The date of our next march is the Saturday before the Council sets its cuts budget on Tuesday 22 February. It seems that the LibDems are getting a bit nervous and abandoning any commitment they might once have had to civil liberties and the freedom of assembly after all, the only places you can assemble in central Bristol are owned by the Council.

    We will not abandon our right to protest at times which are appropriate. We have complained directly to Cllr Janke. The march and rally will go ahead; the question for the Council is whether they want it organised or not and we call on all trade union branches, community organisations and BADACA supporters to contact their councillors to get this decision overturned. We do not want chaos. We want a very large, orderly march and rally which reflects the opposition of the people of Bristol to the destruction of their public services.

    In contrast, the police seem quite relaxed about it all and have not stated any objection.

    There will also be a lobby of the Council's budget meeting on the afternoon of 22 February which as many people as possible should attend.