One picket, pointing to the three ugly concrete towers, around the corner from Westminster Abbey, that house the Departments of the Environment and Transport, said: 'Hardly an architectural triumph.'
But he and his 2,000 fellow protesters are convinced the beleaguered Docklands development would be an even less attractive place to work.
From the messengers in the lower echelons of the civil service to the highest ranks there is resistance to proposals to relocate employees east to Docklands. More than 2,000 staff from the Department of the Environment are due to move there next year and unions fear Department of Transport workers will have to go, too.
Employees complain of poor transport links and increased travel time. David Pope, branch secretary of the National Union of Civil and Public Servants (NUCPS), which largely represents middle management, said: 'We feel this has been dumped on us. The private sector is pulling out of Docklands and we are being asked to bail out property developers and save ministers' egos and faces.' Lorraine Harding, an NUCPS committee member, said: 'This is not about value for money. The politicians are moving us to justify the money they ploughed into Docklands.'
The Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists (IPMS) and the Association of First Division Civil Servants (FDA), which represent professional and scientific officers and the highest ranking civil servants, voted not to strike.
The NUCPS and Civil and Public Services Association (CPSA) are already planning to ballot their members on a work-to-rule if the Government does not reconsider.
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