MP backs customs staff in privatisation strike plans

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LIVINGSTON MP Graeme Morrice has given staff at the Bathgate HM Revenue and Customs contact centre his full support for industrial action taken against the privatisation of the contact centre network.

The recent action was prompted by HMRC’s decision to award two private companies – Teleperformance and Sitel – contracts to run 12-month call-handling trials at the contact centres in Bathgate and Lillyhall, Cumbria, which opponents say threatens 1300 permanent HMRC jobs.

Mr Morrice said: “The award of contracts to the private companies poses a real threat to the future of HMRC as a publicly funded and accountable body.

“Those at the Bathgate centre are right to highlight the risks to jobs and the handling of sensitive taxpayer information this represents, and I am sure that the public will understand why they have taken this action and support them.”