Socialist Worker

Call centre cuts crisis

by Dave Owens and Steve West, PCS DWP executive (pc)
Issue No. 2274

The PCS union’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) group executive committee met on Friday of last week to consider calling further strikes in the long-running dispute over call centre workers.

Some 350 workers face redundancy, at a cost of £7 million, in areas that management admits are facing a staffing crisis.

But their solution of seeking to transfer workers from other parts of DWP into the call centres is just an attempt to shift the problem.

The executive also agreed to support a call for strikes in job centres across Mersey District.

Some 156 staff there are threatened with compulsory transfer—that’s 30 percent of admin grade staff—mainly into Bootle and Garston call centres.

The first strike in the Mersey job centres could be on 31 October—the same date pencilled in for strikes in the call centres.

There are plans to transfer another 300 workers into the Bootle and Garston sites from Liverpool call centre and Huyton benefit centre, which are among 22 benefit and call centres on a closure list.

Huyton is among 13 of these that could see compulsory redundancies.

The executive agreed to call national action if this goes ahead.

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Article information

Tue 18 Oct 2011, 18:59 BST
Issue No. 2274
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