PCS says postponed Home Office and former UKBA action will take place in a fortnight

Tim Lezard

PCS hmrc picketsTens of thousands of PCS members have taken part in strike action at HM Revenue and Customs.

(Pictured: Pickets outside HMRC office, East Kilbride this morning)

The half-day action is designed to disrupt the start of the new tax year and the introduction of PAYE real-time information and follows Friday’s successful action by members at other government departments.

It is part of a three-month campaign over cuts to pay, pensions and conditions, which started with a national strike on budget day on 20 March.

John Davidson – a member of the union’s HMRC group executive, who joined pickets this morning in East Kilbride – told UnionNews: “The mood on the pickets is still very positive.

“We’ve not been able to do workplace leafleting in the same way as before, but lots of folk turned back from the picket and people were asking for a full day’s action next time instead of just the half-day like this.”

There have been hundreds of picket lines at workplaces around the UK – including call centres, processing offices and the face-to-face enquiry centres the government plans to close.

A 24-hour strike in the Home Office and former UK Border Agency, planned for today but postponed after a legal challenge, will now be escalated to a week-long series of walkouts across various parts of the department in a fortnight’s time.

Officials and senior reps are thought to be preparing for a second round of national action in early June. PCS and other unions are also discussing plans for coordinated strike action against Coalition government policies on 26 June.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “These strikes are part of an ongoing campaign of industrial action and protests to cause disruption for the government at key times and put pressure on ministers who are refusing to even talk to us.

“Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on but, instead of rewarding them, the government is imposing cuts to their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their basic working conditions.”

You can watch our film report on the dispute here:

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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