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Jobcentre Plus call centre staff are set to strike

Posted on Jan 17 2011
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WORKERS in Jobcentre Plus call centres around the country are poised to strike at the end of the week in a row over working conditions.

Up to 3,500 workers from offices in Glasgow, Norwich, Newport, Sheffield, Makerfield and Manchester are set to walk out on Thursday and Friday after voting to walk out.

The 48-hour strike by members of the Public and Commercial Services union has been sparked by complaints of “excessive monitoring” and rigid working conditions.

PCS official Martin John said: “Our members want to give genuine customer service but call handling targets mean callers are not having their inquiries dealt with.

“This is about respect. We want both customers and staff to be respected by the DWP, and we will continue to push for decent working conditions and a properly resourced public service.”

The union is pushing for the same flexi-time arrangements as the rest of the DWP, as well as an end to a target-driven culture and changes to “unrealistic average call times”.

It says the current conditions are causing high levels of stress, and prompting “an alarming rate” of departures among the workforce.

Strikes were set to take place in December before talks were offered. The PWC was not contactable at the time of press.

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