The vote for strike action by PCS members against the closure of the DWP Southall jobcentre has led to talks, progress and concessions, meaning that the strike due for 12 September has been suspended.
On Wednesday (6) Southall management contacted the local PCS reps and offered a meeting to discuss our opposition to the closure of Southall jobcentre.
A meeting was held yesterday (7) when management agreed to consider options “to support any necessary contingencies of service delivery linked to the closure”. Management has agreed to consider “the requirement for a possible small outreach location in the area” and said it will work with the local authority and other partners to do this, along with “further analysis on the number of customers in the effected postcodes.”
Following the meeting members at the jobcentre voted to suspend the strike planned for 12 September and to give management 28 days to come up with acceptable proposals for a substantial footprint in the community.
Action gets results
The vote to strike by PCS members at Southall jobcentre led to the talks. The planned strike action made local management agree to meet the union and work properly on providing a continued service to the community. While strike action is always a last resort, the purpose of it is always to force the management back to the negotiating table and to win concessions.
The campaign continues
Members at Southall jobcentre are also concerned that the equality assessment on the impact of the office closure is deeply flawed. Both PCS and Ealing council are taking legal advice on this.
In addition a meeting has been arranged with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to seek further support for our campaign.