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PCS vote for strike action over job cuts

Staff at the Home Office could be set to go on strike, after members of the PCS union vote for industrial action over jobs, pay issues and cuts to staff numbers.

57.2% voted for a strike on a turnout of 20% and almost 75% voted in favour of action short of a strike. Details of dates and the form of action are expected to be released today, and there is concern that it could affect the Olympics.

The union is opposing compulsory redundancies, plans to cap pay increases at 1% for the next two years and privatisation of services.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “We believe [ministers] have acted recklessly and irresponsibly in cutting so many jobs and, in the case of UKBA, they have simply tried to paper over the cracks by deploying severely undertrained staff at our borders.

“If these issues are not resolved, they threaten to seriously undermine the Home Office’s ability to provide vital public services, and we cannot sit back and allow that to happen.”

But immigration minister Damian Green said: “Only about one in 10 PCS members voted for strike action. The union leadership has no authority to call disruptive strikes on that basis and should think again.

“The security of the UK border is of the utmost importance and we will use our trained pool of contingency staff to ensure we minimise any disruption caused by planned union action.

“Any action that disrupts the Olympics will be completely unacceptable and the public will not support it.”

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