Staff working at the Department for Work and Pensions will strike for two weeks over Christmas.
More than 200 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, working in three DWP offices in Liverpool and one in Doncaster, will walk out from 19 to 31 December.
The union said other targeted action at the DWP is likely to follow as part of the union’s national campaign for a 10% pay rise, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms.
The PCS has previously served notice of a month of strike action across 250 sites of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the Rural Payments Agency and 12 days of rolling strike action at the National Highways over Christmas and the New Year.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members have been plunged into ever-increasing depths of poverty.
“They shouldn’t have to rely on foodbanks to feed their children or be forced to make the choice of either working from home because the journey into work is too expensive or working in the cold under blankets because the cost of heating is too expensive.
“It’s a disgrace that our members in the DWP – the government’s own employees – are claiming the benefits they pay out to others.
“The government is in the position to stop these strikes by putting money on the table, and we call on them to do so.”
A DWP spokesman said: “We greatly value the work of our staff but the PCS Union’s demands would cost the country an unaffordable £2.4 billion when the focus must be on bringing down inflation to ease the burden on households, protect the vulnerable and rebuild our economy.
“Benefits, the state pension and child maintenance payments are paid automatically and people who rely on that support will continue to receive it.”
The PCS will be announcing strike dates in other departments, including the Home Office, over the next few weeks.
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