Jobcentre strike today

Thousands of Jobcentre Plus staff will begin a 24-hour strike today over working conditions.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) based in more than 30 call centres will walk out after accusing management of showing "little willingness" to resolve the dispute.

The action follows a two-day strike in January by more than 2,000 workers in Jobcentre Plus's seven newest contact centres who complain of being forcibly moved from processing benefit claims to handling inquiries by phone.

The union said it wants to improve the levels of customer service in call centres, end a target-driven culture, particularly by changing the way "unrealistic" average call times are used, and introduce proper flexible working arrangements.