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Support the Contact Centre Strike on 20th and 21st January 17/01/2011

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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As you probably aware PCS members in Sheffield Contact Centre are taking strike action on 20th and 21st of January.
While large parts of our branch have not been balloted for industrial action, we understand that members will want to show their support and solidarity for the Contact Centre members in their fight to improve working conditions.
Contact Centre workers use a computerised time management system called Workforce Manager, this automatic generates work schedules for staff. This means workers have virtually no control over start and finish times, or lunch breaks.  Workers have to submit their work patterns and leave preferences four to six weeks in advance. This means that Contact Centre workers have little or no access to flexible working. The work is target-driven to the point of lunacy, where workers feel completely detached from customer interaction as they are informed their call was 3 seconds over the target length.

 “Call centres are the new dark satanic mills” – Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary, The Guardian 2010

It is important to remember that many of those working in Sheffield Contact Centre were working elsewhere in Sheffield and were compulsorily transferred in May 2010. It is important to support the contact centre campaign because it is likely that these conditions could spread to other parts of the Department. We believe this has started to happen over the last few years.
For those working in Hartshead Square/Cavendish Court
Due to the complex nature of the building there are many PCS members on site who were not involved in the ballot. These include CSD staff in both Hartshead District Office and Cavendish Court, Contact Centre NMT and trainers. Unfortunately due to the anti-union laws solidarity action is banned in the UK and therefore members will be forced to cross picket lines.
PCS will not be picketing to stop the above members of staff attending work.
What you can do to support your colleagues in Sheffield Contact Centre?
• Do not volunteer to undertake any work which is aimed at undermining the strike.
• Picket Hartshead Square before work or if you are not at work that day – there will be a picket line from 7am to 10.30am on both days.
• Wear something red to work to show solidarity.
• Wear a sticker stating “I support the Contact Centre workers”, these will be available from reps or outside Hartshead and Cavendish Court.
• Attend the demo in Hartshead Square on 20th at 12.30 in your lunch break. This will only be 15-30 minutes long, but it is important that you show your support if you can.
• Donate to the branch hardship fund – Contact Centre members will be losing two days pay for this action. This fund is designed to help those members in most need following a spell of industrial action. Many members have already committed sizeable sums  towards this. Contact your local rep to donate!

PCS DWP SHEFFIELD BRANCH

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