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From: Article posted to home page Notebook, 8 April 2011: Brief articles and notes on the Socialist Party website

Search site for keywords: PCS - Strike - Jobcentre - Call Centres

Jobcentre call centre staff to strike on 18 April

Thousands of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) call centre staff will strike on 18 April after bosses refused to improve working conditions and customer service, the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has announced.

In a ballot of 7,000 PCS members in 37 call centres across the country, 70% of those who took part voted for strike action. The turnout was 43%.

Following this strong result the union agreed not to call any industrial action to allow negotiations to continue. But senior managers have shown little willingness to resolve the dispute.

PCS's Department for Work and Pensions group president Jane Aitchison

said: "We are being prevented from providing a good quality service to the public because of unnecessary and unrealistic call centre targets".

The action will follow a well-supported two-day strike in January by more than 2,000 workers in JCP's seven newest contact centres who have been forcibly moved from processing benefit claims to handling enquiries by phone.

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