The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is to hold a 48-hour strike next week following the break down of talks with officials at the Department for Work and Pensions over job cuts and deteriorating services.
The union announced it would be calling a two-day strike for 26 and 27 January.
The 48-hour stoppage will hit Jobcentres, benefit offices, pension centres and the Child Support Agency across England, Scotland and Wales.
The strike follows cuts of approximately 15,000 jobs in the DWP, as the department seeks to lose a total of 30,000 jobs by 2008.
According to union sources, the DWP refused the union’s offer of halting the cuts while an objective joint assessment of adequate staffing levels based was carried out.
The DWP also refused to guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies, the union said.
Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Strike action is not a step we take lightly. But against a backdrop of the DWP refusing to acknowledge the damage being wrought by job cuts, our members will take action to defend the services they deliver.”