Socialist Worker

HMRC Lothians walk out in fight for decent conditions

Issue No. 1997

Some 950 PCS members working for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the large processing centre at Lothians in Scotland struck on Thursday of last week over the deskilling of work.

The one-day strike disrupted the processing of tax returns.

It follows the introduction of new working practices in the Lothians processing centre. These are called “Lean”.

This has created a stressful and oppressive working environment with work being deskilled and in some cases staff being exposed to the risk of repetitive strain injury.

It is being piloted in HMRC Lothians and is being used by management as a tool to meet its target of job cuts.

According to Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, “It is ironic, in an age where the government is placing a huge emphasis on creating a skilled workforce across the economy, that we have one of the biggest government departments introducing working practices designed by consultants that reduce the workforce to robots.”

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Sat 22 Apr 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1997
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