Glynis Millward writes: A few days ago, I posted some articles about the sheer contempt held by HMRC for the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union
Now, it seems Cabinet Minister Francis Maude has refused to distance himself from the orchestrated plot by senior HMRC officials, to undermine the PCS union as this extract from the PCS shows;
The minister was questioned on the matter by Labour shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth in the Commons today.
A leaked memo details a plan by senior civil servants in the department to undermine and isolate the union that represents 50,000 HMRC staff, around three quarters of the workforce.
The revelation comes after HMRC had unilaterally walked away from talks aimed at resolving an ongoing dispute over job cuts and office closures.
Named on the memo, written for HMRC’s executive committee, is the department’s head of employee relations William Hague, who previously worked with Mr Maude at the Cabinet Office.
The paper states HMRC’s senior management believes its “business interests” are best served by an approach that “reduces the influence of the unions”. It sets out a plan to “marginalise PCS” and says “further proactive measures targeted at key union activists” would be considered.
The union has accused the department’s most senior civil servants of acting politically to stifle opposition to cuts at a time when even the government’s own modest estimates acknowledge the amount the exchequer loses in uncollected tax is rising.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This is deeply disturbing evidence of an orchestrated and politicised plot at the heart of the civil service to undermine us as an independent trade union.
“The fact the minister refused to distance his government from it speaks volumes.”
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