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Tax workers on strike
PCS members working as tax officials at the HMRC joined in a three-hour lunchtime action on 12 December over the introduction of agency workers in contact centres.
The action was designed to highlight the creeping privatisation of work in HMRC and the wider civil service. The year-long trial at the contact centres in Bathgate, Scotland and Lillyhall in Cumbria means agency staff will have access to sensitive data. The union is arguing that the department should use existing staff to help out at peak times in the call centres.
HMRC has faced 30,000 job cuts since 2005 and 10,000 further posts are under threat.
This dispute comes at the same time as a battle against punitive new sick absence measures, which threaten staff with disciplinary action instead of helping them back to work.
A rep on the picket line at Saxon House in Leicester told Steve Score: "This is nothing but a cynical attempt by management to make it easier to get civil servants out as cheaply as possible in order to meet the unreasonable cuts agenda of the current government. This is instead of investing in HMRC to collect the tax necessary to close the massive £120 billion tax gap."
In The Socialist 14 December 2011:
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party reviews
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis