Action by PCS members determined to save Ealing tax office and their jobs steps up this week with a one day strike on Wednesday, 3 April which follows two previous half-day strikes.
Picket lines will be in place at International House from 8am and any support for the picket lines and strike will be welcome. International House could close as early as 2020, putting many staff at risk of redundancy as part of HMRC’s misnamed Building Our Future proposals which will see 90% of HMRC offices closed and replaced by fewer than 20 ‘regional centres and specialist sites’.
The department has already lost tens of thousands of years of tax experience as a direct result of its proposals. The National Audit Office has also forecast a further 5,000 job losses and said that the costs of redundancy and travel had tripled from £17 million to £54 million due to this programme.
The two half-day walkouts last month were very well-supported and there has been considerable political support for the campaign to keep the office openincluding from shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Anneliese Dodds, Labour’s shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, and local MP Rupa Huq More than 84% voted in favour of striking, and 95% backed action short of a strike in a ballot.
If the employer continues to refuse to change its position a three-day strike is planned for next week from 10-12 April. There will be a strike rally at 10am in Ealing on Wednesday 10 April which will be addressed by PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka This will take place in the hall at Ealing Green Church, just up the road from International House. Members are also refusing to do non-contractual overtime. Messages of support for the strikers can be sent to RCGroup@pcs.org.uk and to firstname.lastname@example.org