London jobcentre and benefit office staff face strike ballot over job cuts

Ballot papers for a one-day London wide strike followed by discontinuous action to resist job cuts in the DWP were sent out today to 10,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working in the capital’s jobcentres and benefit offices.

The union is balloting its members as the axe has already fallen on more than 1,000 jobs across London, leading to what it claims is a deterioration of key services such as benefit payments and job broking services.

The cuts are part of a government efficiency drive to cut 30,000 jobs in the DWP and a further 70,000 across the rest of the civil service.

The ballot will close on 21 September and the result will be announced shortly after.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “Our members are working in increasingly intolerable conditions seeing the services they care about suffer as a result of crude cuts.

“Strike action is not a step we take lightly and we stand ready to reach a negotiated outcome that meets the interests of the public and staff, but the government needs to take stock of the damage its cuts programme is doing and think again.”

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