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Civil servants 'may go on strike' if they're forced to go back into the office, union head warns  - healthyfrog

Civil servants ‘may go on strike’ if they’re forced to go back into the office, union head warns 

Civil servants ‘may go on strike’ if they’re forced to go back into the office, union head warns

  • More than 95 per cent of civil servants worked from home during the lockdown
  •  Mr Johnson is expected to tell ministers to accelerate the process this week
  • But Mark Serwotka said they would be ‘prepared to consider industrial action’

Boris Johnson’s drive to get Whitehall back to work suffered a fresh blow yesterday as the head of the civil servants’ union threatened strikes if members were forced back to work before it is deemed safe.

Following a lockdown in which more than 95 per cent of civil servants worked from home, each Government department was asked in July to set rolling targets for the return.  

Mr Johnson is expected to tell ministers to accelerate the process this week, following a ‘slow’ response.

Mark Serwotka (pictured), general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: ‘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’

He is said to believe civil servants should ‘set an example’ to the rest of the country.

But Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: ‘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.’

Environment Secretary George Eustice yesterday appeared to undermine the initiative by revealing he had no ‘target’, adding: ‘We won’t get a 100 per cent return to work.’ 

Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was happy for officials to stay at home if they got the job done.

Mr Serwotka told Channel 4 News: ‘If the Government or any employer started forcing people back to work and we believed that it was not safe to do so we would consider our legal options, we would secondly give individual legal advice to individuals, but thirdly we would consider whether a collective response was what was 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.’