Liverpool and Southport passport office staff set to strike for five weeks

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Industrial action will begin next month.

Staff at Merseyside passport offices are to stage five weeks of strike action.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has confirmed more than a thousand workers across England, Scotland and Wales are to leave their posts for industrial action. Staff from Liverpool and Southport will be joined by those working in Durham, Glasgow, London, Newport and Peterborough from April 3 to May 5.

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The action is an escalation of the union’s long-running dispute over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security and is likely to have a significant impact on the delivery of passports as the summer approaches. It is the latest strike action by members of the PCS Union, with Home Office workers out on the picket on Wednesday in Liverpool city centre and Bootle.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “This escalation of our action has come about because, in sharp contrast with other parts of the public sector, ministers have failed to hold any meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and sustained, targeted action lasting six months. Their approach is further evidence they’re treating their own workforce worse than anyone else.

“They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute but for six months have refused to improve their 2% imposed pay rise, and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern. They seem to think if they ignore our members, they’ll go away.

“How can our members ignore the cost-of-living crisis when 40,000 civil servants are using foodbanks and 45,000 of them are claiming the benefits they administer themselves? It’s a national scandal and a stain on this government’s reputation that so many of its own workforce are living in poverty.”

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Staff from the Department of Work and Pensions across the city region have also staged demonstrations this year while workers who walked out from their desks at the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service in the city centre secured a pay rise of more than 10% last year. After threatening indefinite industrial action in a long-running pay dispute, PCS members working at Hinduja Global Solutions have announced they have brought strikes to an end after a deal was reached.

The 82 staff, employed by HGS to run the contact centre and back-office functions of the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), took six weeks of action outside their offices on Tithebarn Street.

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