Coastguard climbdown is a 'body blow' for government – Mark Serwotka

19 May 2011

Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka has described the apparent climbdown over coastguard cuts as a “body blow” for the government and further evidence of what can be achieved by community campaigning.

Speaking as the union meets in Brighton for its annual conference, and a day after delegates voted to ballot a quarter of a million civil and public servants for a strike over cuts to jobs, pensions and pay, Mark said:

“This is a body blow for the government which is reeling from the force of public outrage at ill-thought out plans to slash the life-saving support that coastguards provide.

It is not yet clear what any new proposals will include and there are still battles to be won to maintain vital local services that our members provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We would expect new plans to be subject to proper consultation and negotiation.

The campaign against these cuts has been inspirational and I am proud of the part our reps and members have played in it. Now is the time to keep up the pressure and show the government we remain united, strong and determined to defeat these cuts.”

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