Thursday, 4 December 2014

Support Garston Contact Centre Members – Further Action Planned

Having already taken 8 days strike action this year including a five day strike from 13-17th October the 150 or so members in Garston Contact Centre show no inclination to give up the fight against the closure of the site.

A recent car park meeting voted by 93 votes to nil to take further action and this is now with the national union. Some gains have been made. In particular some (around 40) alternative jobs have been found in Belle Vale for members with mobility, health and caring responsibilities, excess fares allowance extended to five years from three, some job swaps have been agreed, compulsory moves to Birkenhead scrapped and management have conceded that there should have been proper consultation with PCS prior to the closure decision.

The last point is important but fails to help members in Garston. Proposals from PCS to set up satellite sights to carry out either Call Centre or Personal Independence Payment work have been rejected on the grounds this would cost around £100,000 to set up and yet PCS estimate the cost of the closure for excess fares, taxi fares to Bootle as reasonable adjustments and OHS referrals to be £719,000. There is also a potential cost for redundancy payments.

At heart this is a fight against the Governments’ austerity programme, in defence of jobs in the local economy and against managements’ attempts to treat people as bits of office furniture.

Messages of support and donations should be sent via PCS DWP Liverpool branch c/o PCS NW Regional Office, Jack Jones House, Islington, Liverpool L3 8EG.

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