Tax Office staff to go on strike tomorrow

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 17:00 BST on Sunday 24th June 2012.
Cumbernauld Tax Office staff to go on strike tomorrow as part of national day of action, since May strike, over pay, pensions and sackings.

Almost 2’500 workers at Cumbernauld’s HMRC Tax Office are set to go on strike tomorrow, as the Public and Commercial Services Union members all over the country go on strike over planned privatised and pension reforms.

However, the day of action will not be the last, with the members of the PCS union set to impose a strict ban on overtime from Tuesday, as part of their campaign against cutbacks in the service.

Talking to the Cumbernauld News, a spokesperson for the local PCS union said: “In our ballot, members have voted to support strike action and action short of striking. We are pushing for no further job cuts, an end to private sector involvement at HMRC and no moves beyond reasonable travelling distances.

“We will also look to escalate our action should the department refuse to listen. We are embarking on our biggest ever consultation exercise among our representatives and members to determine our next steps in our campaign

They added: “Our message is this - we are serious about protecting our members’ interests and we will engage in a serious and determined campaign to defend jobs and services,” added the spokesperson.

Despite the recent public announcement of the local intention to strike, the PCS union have confirmed that there was a ballot, involving the union's 55,000 members in HMRC, on Friday 1st June.

The results of the June ballot shows that, on a 33.3% turnout, 52.8% voted for a strike and 77.2% voted for other forms of industrial action.

It is believed that PCS’s members in Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are fighting nationwide plans to cut a further 10’000 jobs from the department by 2014/15.

Commenting, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "When reducing the budget deficit is supposedly the government's number one priority, it makes absolutely no economic sense to cut ever more staff from the very department responsible for collecting the taxes that fund all our other public services.

"The government should be investing to improve services, tackle the tax dodgers and get our economy back on its feet.

He added: "At the same time as cutting jobs and closing offices, we have real concerns about creeping privatisation in HMRC, with public money being handed to companies to make a profit. Alongside strikes in the transport sector, any action in HMRC will form part of our ongoing fight against needless and hugely damaging cuts by the government."