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Monday, 02 March 2015

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Defra staff in Cumbria strike over pay

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union joined the picket line outside the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) in Workington today to protest over pay and conditions

The site on Derwent Howe employs around 450 civil servants from all over West Cumbrian, roughly a quarter of the 2,000 people who work for the RPA nationally.

The day of action comes as part of a six-week programme of countrywide protests which aims to bring the Government to the negotiating table.

Branch officer Beth Wagg said: “Morale is low and there is a degree of uncertainty over jobs.

“We are at the point where the Government isn’t even negotiating. They won’t sit down and talk to us.”

Historically around 85 per cent of the workforce has supported strike action, with workers coming in from as far away as Wigton due to join the picket line today.

The walkout coincides with the deadline for applications for European Union grants and has been taken by several organisations nationally, including the Marine Management Organisation and also the RPA.

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