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Jobcentre staff strike over calls.

Byline: Anna Blyth

DISGRUNTLED Jobcentre staff in one of Scotland's most deprived areas took part in a UK-wide strike yesterday.

The call centre workers in Springburn, Glasgow, were joined by Department for Work and Pensions colleagues in Paisley and Dundee.

They claim restrictions on the length of time spent handling calls means inquiries from benefit claimants can't be handled properly.

The Springburn staff also claim bosses expect them to do twice the amount of work since the former benefits processing office was converted into a call centre two years ago.

They say the understaffed centre has been overwhelmed with calls from recession-hit Scots.

About 6000 members of the PCS union at 32 sites took part in the one-day strike over working conditions and staff shortages.

Derek Thomson, chairman of the PCS Scotland Committee, said: "Our members want to provide a good, efficient and reliable service but are prevented from doing so by targetdriven employers who are more interested in draconian and unrealistic targets than any respect for the people who rely on these."

A DWP spokesman said the action was "unnecessary", adding: "We have gone to great lengths to resolve issues with unions."

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 14, 2012
Words:197
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