Face-to-face help is no longer available at the tax office after Abbey House in Enniskillen closed its doors on Monday evening, June 30. The decision to close and put 19 jobs at risk was the subject of a strike on Thursday of last week as the office workers united in opposition to the national reforms of the HMRC.
In total 281 enquiry centres, which gave help to a grand total of 2.5 million people last year, have closed across the UK.
Barney Lawn, from the Public and Commercial Services union explained the mood of local staff and the rationale behind the strike.
“The staff are very demoralised as they feel the department doesn’t seem to want to invest in their futures or listen to their rational arguments and are ignoring what economic impact it will have on the local economy.”
He continued: “They have been left in limbo; uncertain of their future, very little support from the department and no redeployment opportunities.”
More than 1,500 in the North went on strike on Thursday to protest the closure of the Newry office and both Foyle House in Derry and Abbey House in Enniskillen. Mr Lawn told the Herald there was ‘near enough 100%’ support to the strike in Enniskillen.
The union say years of successive job cuts have left the organisation unable to cope. They also claim the cuts have led to delays on telephone lines and huge backlogs of post.
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