Taxmen to strike over working conditions

Around 8,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS)
working in HM Revenue & Customs tax processing centres are set to strike
next Monday.

The staff, primarily working on PAYE and self assessment returns, will strike
because HMRC’s senior management has backed down on a settlement over new
working practices, according to the PCS.

The union believes the new practices will lead to excessive monitoring of
staff, ‘deskilling of work’ and repetitive strain injury.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary said: ‘We postponed the last one day
strike because we had a proposed agreement from HMRC around which we believed a
negotiated settlement could be reached. However senior management’s bad faith in
back-tracking over key elements of that agreement represents a kick in the teeth
for dedicated staff who face their work being deskilled and reduced to nothing
more than robots.’

An HMRC spokesman said: ‘We are very disappointed by the PCS’ decision to
reinstate industrial action, having called it off. All significant personnel
issues have been successfully negotiated with the union, however there remain
three issues in dispute that fundamentally affect our ability to manage
effectively. We regard this action as unnecessary and we will do all we can to
minimise disruption.’

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