“When you fight for things in life you are not guaranteed to win, but when you never fight for anything you lose every single time.”

That was the message to workers in Kew this week as the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) general secretary Mark Serwotka drummed up support for November’s strike action.

Mr Serwotka helped lead a PCS union meeting with about 50 staff at Kew National Archives on Monday, October 10, and explained why he felt the national public service worker strike on Wednesday, November 30, was so important.

He said: “These cuts the Government are making are not only unnecessary but make our economic situation worse [and it is] important everybody recognises there is an alternative.

“[This is an] unprecedented assault on our job security, pensions and pay. We have had here a second year of a pay freeze, effectively a cut in our living standards. If your pay stands still you’re actually five per cent worse off coming to work than a year ago.”

He added: “We can either accept life is tough and all put up with it or we can say we’re going to stop them raiding our pensions.”

Staff at the National Archives, in Ruskin Avenue, previously took part in strikes to protect public sector pensions on Saturday, July 30, and are currently preparing for the next mass walkout.

Workers from the National Archives are expected to be among PCS union members taking part in November’s national strikes in protest against job cuts, pay freezes and Government plans to change their pension schemes.

A spokesman from the National Archives said: “Discussions between Government and the unions are ongoing and industrial action is yet to be formally confirmed.

“The National Archives’ priority is to keep the public informed.”

Robin Coles, PCS branch chairman at the National Archives, said there was determination among staff to see strikes through and fight to stop cuts that would impact on public workers like themselves for generations.

He said: “People are definitely starting to feel the five per cent inflation rate and their pay freeze really hits their pockets.

“I would expect a strong turn out here at the archives, we are not an especially radical branch but general feelings are people are determined to stand up for pay conditions.”