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The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union will on Monday begin balloting members on possible strike action to protest at continuing redundancies at Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The PCS's HMRC group executive committee is asking all members within HMRC to vote yes to the proposed action.

The PCS union has previously blamed job losses, budget cuts, and reorganisation for the loss of the child benefit database in November. More than 200 jobs relating to data security are due to be lost by March this year, the union claims.

The PCS is calling on members "to take part in one day's strike action on Thursday 31 January 2008 and action short of strike action, from the following day, should this be necessary depending on the outcome of further negotiations". The further day of action is likely to be a department-wide overtime ban.

Ballot papers should arrive with members on Monday 7 January 2008 and the poll closes at 10am on Wednesday 23 January.

The PCS was previously negotiating with the government on the basis of an assurance there would be no compulsory redundancies. That agreement expired in September and the union wants it renewed.

The union also wants an assurance that no other parts of HMRC will be outsourced or privatised, that plans to privatise the work of security guards will be reversed, and is calling for an end to all overtime unless agreed by the union under exceptional circumstances.

It also wants agreement on what local action managers can take to reduce the impact of job cuts and increasing work pressure on its members.

HMRC is aiming to cut 25,000 jobs and five per cent of its budget by 2011.

More from the PCS here. ®

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