HMRC staff take strike action today over office closures at Ealing
Tax workers in the PCS union will take strike action from midday in their battle to prevent office closures.
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) which represents the workers at International House at Ealing will take strike action from midday and have planned further sustained action going into April.
The dispute centres round the union’s opposition to the closure of the office due to take place in 2020/21. The closure is part of HMRC’s plans to close ninety percent of all tax offices in a move regarded by many as a clear sign of a lack of seriousness on the part of the Tory government to tackle tax avoidance and evasion.
The union has said the closures will lead to a poorer service and massive job losses as many workers cannot relocate to the new regional hubs that are being created.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:
The government’s office closure is deeply unpopular with staff. Many will be made redundant as a result and the service that they provide will be severely hampered.
HMRC is struggling to recruit and retain staff. With an unnecessary office closure programme and a huge amount of tax uncollected, evaded or avoided, our members demand that their office stays open.
It is about time Ministers started listening to the experts who are our members and halted this office closure programme immediately.
Over 80% of union members who took part in the ballot voted for strike action. A PCS member working at Ealing, who did not wish to be named said:
We are the last remaining HMRC office located anywhere near Heathrow airport and in this time of uncertainty over the implications of ‘Brexit’, it makes absolutely no sense to close the office – permanently losing countless years of vital tax and customs experience in the process.
The planned strike dates are as follows:
- a half-day strike today;
- a further half-day strike on 26 March 2019
- a one-day strike on 3 April 2019
- a three-day strike commencing 10 April 2019.
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