Today, PCS members in HM Revenue & Customs took strike action over the threat of privatisation. In Bootle, a member of Liverpool Solidarity Federation and PCS activist put the following statement - calling for a national week of action against privatisation - to an assembly of striking workers, where it was approved unanimously.

HM Revenue & Customs are engaging in a 12 month pilot with two private contractors, Sitel and Teleperformance, to handle calls alongside existing staff at contact centres in Bathgate and Lilyhall. The department claims that this is merely to look at ways they can address call backlogs during peak times. However, this is a transparent attack on the jobs, terms and conditions of PCS members.

PCS has been arguing consistently for long-term investment in HMRC. With a £120bn tax gap that would erase the alleged need for public sector cuts, and significant backlogs and delays in call handling, cutting jobs and outsourcing work to private providers simply does not make sense. By preserving existing jobs and recruiting more staff to address the shortfalls in the department, HMRC can help ease unemployment and provide a better service to beleaguered taxpayers.

In order to fight for this alternative – and against the government’s drive to cut jobs and privatise the public sector – PCS members in HMRC have been taking strike action. This has so far taken the form of short walkouts, which have been succesful in causing significant disruption to HMRC with minimal cost to staff.

However, PCS Bootle Taxes Branch believes that the campaign needs to be escalated and the fight against privatisation broadened for the maximum possible impact. To that end, we are calling for a national week of action against privatisation on 13-19 February.

We call on other PCS branches, including those outside of HMRC, other trade unions, anti-cuts groups and all who oppose the privatisation of the public sector to take the following action:

  • Organise pickets outside any Sitel or Teleperformance sites in your area;

  • Hold lunchtime demonstrations against privatisation at HMRC offices in your area, in support of staff fighting privatisation;

  • Contact Sitel and Teleperformance by telephone, email, fax and post to complain of their involvement in HMRC’s privatisation trials;

  • Contact HMRC by telephone, email and post to let them know of your opposition to privatisation.

We further call on the PCS Revenue & Customs Group Executive Committee to support the national week of action, to publicise it on the PCS website and to supplement it by calling further industrial action through the week.

The fight against privatisation is a fight that affects all of us. We urge everyone to show their solidarity with workers in HMRC during this fight and to take part in the national week of action in February.

PCS Bootle Taxes Branch


Contact HM Revenue & Customs

Locations: Find your nearest HMRC Office through this contact list of PCS Branch Secretaries –

By email: Chairman Mike Clasper –
Personal Tax Director General Stephen Banyard -

By phone: 0845 300 0627

By post: HM Revenue & Customs
Pay As You Earn
PO Box 1970
L75 1WX

Contact Sitel

Watford (Head Office)
Building 600 Leavesden Park
Hercules Way
WD25 7GS
Tel: 01392 889 200
Fax: 0192 324 2555

3 Manor Court
Dix’s Field
Tel: 01392 889 200

Kingston upon Thames
Mitre House
Canbury Park Road
Hampton Wick
Kingston Upon Thames
Tel: 020 8784 1000
Fax: 01795 438953

Newcastle upon Tyne
Sitel House
Balliol Business Park
Benton Lane
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
NE12 8EW
Tel: 0191 3502000

Stratford upon Avon
Sitel House
Timothys Bridge Road
Stratford Enterprise Park
Stratford upon Avon
CV37 9HY
Tel : 01789 299622
Fax : 01789 292341

Phone: 01923 689 600 | 0800 444 221

Email: |

Contact Teleperformance

Bristol (Head Office)
St James House, Moon Street
Bristol BS2 8QY
Tel: 0117 916 8000
Fax: 0117 914 0000

Clandeboye Business Park
West Circular Road
Bangor, County Down BT19 1AR
Tel: 02891 474 500
Fax: 02891 474 505

Teleperformance House
1 Duchess Place, Hagley Road
Birmingham B16 8NH
Tel: 0121 410 5000
Fax: 0121 410 5001

Coalfield Way, Ashby Park
Leicestershire LE65 1JF
Tel: 01530 419 500
Fax: 01530 419 501

The Quays
County Down BT35 8QS
Tel: 02830 831 250
Fax: 02830 831 299

Keel Row
1 The Watermark
NE11 9SZ
Tel: 0191 493 5000

Electronic complaints:

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This article was published on 16 January 2012 by the SolFed group in Liverpool. Other recent articles:

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