Balfour Beatty staff employed to work at DWP sites have struck today in a row over redundancies.
The two-hour strike took place among messengers, typists and telephone staff who provide the privatised work to the DWP.
It comes after Balfour Beatty sought to make 300 staff redundant on the lowest possible terms allowed by the law.
In the earlier ballot 59% of those taking part voted for strike action, while 80% voted for action short of a strike. The strike has followed action short of a strike such as an overtime ban.
Balfour Beatty saw strikes - official and illegal - by sparks in a successful struggle over contracts. It is also at the centre of the ongoing blacklisting scandal.
This is the first strike for many of the employees involved.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:
“This dispute is a result of privatisation creating a two tier workforce.
“Balfour Beatty staff work alongside civil servants but are treated much worse. There has been no attempt to redeploy people facing redundancy and the terms on offer are the lowest the company can get away with and stay within the law.
“It is also ridiculous to cut staff in jobcentres and DWP call centres when unemployment is rising and more people need help to find work or to claim benefits.