Candidates in 3 May elections back public sector workers’ strike over pay and job cuts says PCS poll

Four in five Labour candidates at Thursday’s elections have backed today’s nationwide civil service strike, according to a poll.

Up to 270,000 government workers stayed away from work today in a protest against job cuts, low pay and privatisation.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) claimed that 79% of the Labour candidates it polled ahead of the 3 May local, Scottish and Welsh elections were in support of its campaign.

The union said that 64% of 423 potential councillors that responded to its survey were against the government’s public sector reforms.

In July 2004, the government set out to make £20bn savings over four years by slashing 80,000 jobs, relocating 20,000 roles from the South East and making many other efficiency gains.

One in five Conservative and 63% of Liberal Democrat candidates are against job cuts, according to the PCS poll.

Meanwhile, 16% of Conservative and 45% of Liberal Democrat candidates support the union on privatisation.

Half of Liberal Democrat and 28% of Conservative candidates support the union’s call for higher pay in the civil service.

Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) candidates signalled nearly 100% support on privatisation and pay but were split on job cuts with 57% against the union’s campaign.

In Wales, Plaid Cymru candidates gave the union 100% backing on job cuts and pay, but 40% were against privatisation and 60% were neutral.

Today’s strike follows a one-day walkout on 31 January.

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