Union could call strike over end to working from home

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said it would be willing to consider strike action after confirming it opposed Government plans for 80% of civil servants to have returned to the office by the end of the month.

In a statement, the union said: “Our members have kept the country running during the pandemic while working from home and we believe it is not safe to return to workplaces while Covid-19 infection rates remain high and given the likelihood of a second wave in the coming weeks.

“We are asking departments to provide, as a matter of urgency, for each building the Covid-secure limit, current staffing in each building and current risk assessment for each building.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “If the Government or any employer starts forcing people back to work and we believe that it is not safe to do so we will firstly consider our legal options, secondly give individual legal advice, and thirdly consider whether a collective response is required.

“As a last resort, if you have no other option and people’s health and safety is at risk, of course we would be prepared to consider industrial action.”

Its national executive committee is due to meet on Wednesday September 9 and will “decide how to respond”, the union said.

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