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15 May 2019, 16:30
Workers at two centres dealing with the Government's Universal Credit benefit system are to stage a two-day strike in a dispute over workloads.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) based in Walsall and Wolverhampton will walk out on May 28 and 29, claiming they face "intolerable" workloads and insufficient staff recruitment.
The union said it had made repeated warnings that Universal Credit should be scrapped and replaced.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Instead of trying to solve this ongoing dispute over workloads and recruitment, ministers are spending thousands on a propaganda campaign to promote a failed Universal Credit system.
"It is shameful that the minds of minsters are not focused on claimants or staff but instead on covering up for their own abject failures.
"This strike will send a message that we as a union will not stand idly by while our members are treated with contempt and ministers run Universal Credit into the ground."
Around 250 workers are involved in the dispute.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We are disappointed that the PCS in Walsall and Wolverhampton has taken this course of action.
"Planned meetings with the union are ongoing and our priority is ensuring there is no disruption to our customers.
"Our frontline staff deliver vital support to around 20 million people across the country and we are committed to supporting them in their roles, including by monitoring staff levels and making sure their caseloads are manageable."