Job centres walk-out

STAFF at the Jobcentre Plus call centre in Sheffield Jobcentres are due to join a 48-hour strike today (Thursday) and tomorrow in a dispute over working conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union in seven towns and cities are taking industrial action amid complaints of “intolerable” conditions, including excessive monitoring and inflexible working conditions.

Officials claimed “oppressive” working conditions in Jobcentre Plus were causing high levels of stress and sickness and staff were leaving at an “alarming” rate.

PCS official Martin John said: “Our members want to give genuine customer service but call handling targets mean callers are not having their inquiries dealt with. This is about respect. We will continue to push for decent working conditions and a properly resourced public service.”