Help stop unpaid labour in HMRC

7424_unionbustingcarousel2From a bulletin issued to members today:

  • Branch AGM unanimously backs call for campaign against HMRC involvement in Movement to Work scheme
  • Members are urged to sign the petition and send emails to Lin Homer in opposition to the scheme
  • A local ballot will ask members to vote for non-cooperation with MTW, a work to rule and an overtime ban
  • Check out our campaign page for more updates

The previous briefing from the branch informed members of the threat posed by Movement to Work (MTW) — getting tax work done on the cheap through the unpaid labour of claimants sent by the DWP. This threat was discussed at the recent branch AGM, where members voted to support a campaign against the scheme.

The motion which passed instructed your reps “campaign for the immediate and permanent cessation of Workfare in Bootle HMRC in favour of secure, permanent employment for the appropriate wages.” It further stipulated that we should “ballot all members of the branch to engage in an overtime ban and a work to rule including non-cooperation with the scheme until such time as the dispute is won.”

The branch is now working to put these instructions into effect in order to win an end to unpaid work in our workplaces. There will be a number of actions which members can take as part of the campaign.

Reps will be passing around a petition, which will also be available online, to sign in opposition to MTW. This will be aimed at our Chief Executive, Lin Homer, asking her to withdraw the department from the scheme and focus on paid, permanent employment to get work done. We urge all members to sign so that we can show the strength of opposition to this attempt to undercut our job security and working conditions by forcing people to do unpaid labour.

As well as signing the petition, you can also show your support by emailing Lin Homer directly. We encourage everyone to take just a couple of minutes to do this, using the stock letter here.

A delegation from the branch will also be visiting the local MPs for Bootle and Walton, asking them to put pressure on the department on our behalf and to stand up against their constituents either losing their job because it can be done cheaply by claimants or being forced to do work for their benefits instead of being paid the going rate.

We have also made contact with the Unite community union, which organises unemployed and retired workers, other Bootle PCS branches and other campaign groups for support. If there is no movement from HMRC, this support will include protests at the Triad as well as other forms of action.

And, of course, we have also asked the union’s National Disputes Committee for authorisation to ballot members for industrial action.

In line with the motion, this will not be in the form of a strike but action that you can take while on the job – refusing to cooperate in any way with the MTW scheme, working to rule, and refusing overtime.

More details will follow once we have confirmation of the ballot schedule, but if HMRC’s aim is to do more with less using unpaid labour, we will frustrate them by slowing down work in any way possible.

If HMRC can get away with drafting in unpaid staff to cover backlogs, what incentive do they have to keep our jobs? What leverage do we have to defend our working conditions? Why would they ever need to pay for overtime again if they can get it for free?

Support the campaign against unpaid labour in HMRC.

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