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Jobcentre staff on 24 hour strike

Call centre staff in row over working conditions and customer service targets.

Thousands of Jobcentre staff from 37 call centres are on strike around the country today. The 24 hour walk-out follows a two day strike in January, though Jobcentres on the high street will not be affected.

In March, the 7,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) voted 70% in favour of the strike action (with 43% turnout). The Department for Work and Pensions have said they are disappointed by the decision, and that the staff have "good terms of employment including generous holidays, and have a good amount of flexibility."

The PCS argue for an end to their target-driven culture, with general secretary Mark Serwotka saying the staff - and even their toilet breaks - "are monitored and constantly questioned [ ...] every minute of the day."

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.