Fifteen-minute protest at work

Civil servants from Warbreck House taking part in 15 minute protest as part of national industrial actions over job cuts and pay.
Civil servants from Warbreck House taking part in 15 minute protest as part of national industrial actions over job cuts and pay.
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FYLDE coast civil servants took part in a nationwide protest over jobs and working conditions.

Workers held 15 minute-long lunch-time demonstrations at their offices at Warbreck, Norcross and Peel Park yesterday.

The move by members of the PCS civil service union was in response to cabinet minister Francis Maude’s suggestion that members could walk out for 15 minutes to “get their point across without losing pay.”

Around 60 workers from across the Fylde coast joined in the demonstration, with staff at Warbreck donning Francis Maude masks to press their point home.

Martin Jones, branch chairman of the PCS for the Fylde, said: “We didn’t have a huge number taking part, but that was because they could not get to the gates within the 15 minutes required for the demonstration.

“The protest was taking place all over the country at the same time so we hope it will have had some impact.

“There are a whole raft of issues we wanted to highlight.

“Our pay has been cut by between 13.8 and 19.2 per cent since 2007 and that’s taking next year into account as well, and our pensions have been cut by between 28.8 and 34.2 per cent. Also, 3,000 jobs have gone and that has been going on since 2004.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has already confirmed 1,200 jobs will transfer from Norcross to Peel Park in South Shore, next summer.

Mr Jones added: “We are also concerned about the closure of the Norcross site. A lot of people are going to suffer due to the extra travel time it will take them to reach Peel Park.”

A spokesman for the DWP, which employs staff at Norcross, said: “The protest didn’t affect DWP services as staff who wanted to take part did so in their own time.”