Tagged: Kim Lowes

Durham Land Registry workers strike over privatisation fears

> The PCS union may wring its hands and claim “we are only obeying orders” when it comes to its DWP members enforcing sanctions on the unemployed, but it seems other sections can get off their collective arse when it’s them likely to lose an income.

Workers who fear for their futures under a possible privatisation began a 48-hour strike today (Wednesday, May 14).

Staff at the Land Registry office in Durham City are among thousands of Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) members employed by the agency across the country who are taking action.

They are concerned that the Government agency is going to be privatised and that offices will be closed and jobs lost.

The Land Registry employs about 400 people in Durham , most of them PCS members, and is one of the city’s major employers.

PCS branch chairman Kim Lowes said: “We had a really good turn-out, in all about 30 people visited the picket line.

“We think it is the best-supported strike action we have had, certainly in my time at Durham Land Registry. We think upwards of 85 per cent of members were out.

“We have had national strikes in the past about pay and pensions but this one is different. This is potentially about the future of the Land Registry in Durham completely.

“If they go down the road of office closures and Durham is one of them, then nobody will be safe regardless of grade or how long they have worked there.

“There are an awful lot of families and couples in particular that work there that will lose both wage earners.

 “This could see the end of the Land Registry presence in Durham after 50 years.”

Ms Lowes said workers were concerned about the future quality of the service, treatment of personal data and charges under a private owner.

Source – Durham Times,  14 May 2014