Quiet Man forced to listen to workers’ concerns about call centres as he visits Merseyside


PCS officials in North West England today raised concerns about jobcentre staff moves and arbitrary targets in call centres at an impromptu meeting with work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

The short meeting this afternoon was arranged as protesters were preventing Mr Duncan Smith’s car from entering the car park at St Martin’s House, in Bootle.

The minister got out to take a letter from PCS regional secretary Peter Middleman and agreed to meet immediately after his visit to the Department for Work and Pensions site.

Union officials were able to give him the facts behind the ongoing dispute in Merseyside job centres that led to a three-day strike earlier this month, and he agreed to look again at the unrealistic targets for staff in DWP call centres.

The union has published a series of posters that DWP management have banned from noticeboards in call centres, which show the effect of draconian working conditions.

Meanwhile in Swansea, to coincide with a visit today by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, representatives of the 5,000 staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency headquarters unveiled a banner showing the £11.7 million a year that will be lost from the office as a result of cuts to their pensions.

PCS industrial officer for DVLA Mike Hallinan said: “These pension cuts aren’t just bad news for DVLA staff but for the entire economy of Swansea, which is heavily dependent on public sector jobs.

“We wanted to impress on Mr Maude the damage his policies are inflicting on our members and the communities they live in.”

You can watch a video of the car park meeting, filmed by PCS members, here:

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