STAFF at the Land Registry’s Tile Hill office are the latest government workers to strike.
Some 148 of the 220-strong workforce in Torrington Avenue are involved in the two-day walk out that began yesterday (Wednesday) over plans to sell off the trusted 150-year-old agency and cut jobs.
The Public and Commercial Services Union said bosses had refused to rule out compulsory redundancies and office closures as the government lines up the agency for privatisation.
It claims the service is self-financing and receives no public funds, and in 19 of the last 20 years has made money for the Treasury. Last year, it handed over £96million to the exchequer and is expected to top £10 million this year.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been considering responses to its consultation into the future of the Land Registry, with options being to move it from the civil service to a government owned company, into a joint venture with a private company, or maintain its current status.
The PCSU believed the majority of respondents, including professionals and lawyers in the property industry, are opposed to any change of status with a national newspaper suggesting the decision to privatise had already made.
Robert Aitken, chair of the PCS branch at Coventry Land Registry, said: “Coventry Land Registry has been based in the city for over 25 years and many of the staff have spent at least that long offering a valuable and trusted service to the Conveyancing community and anyone who buys or sells property.
“We aren’t going on strike for a pay rise but to force our board to be honest about their future plans to everyone and if those changes are to our detriment to reward their highly trained and capable staff by treating them with the respect they deserve.”
Business Minister Michael Fallon has insisted no decision on ownership and control of had been made, and several options were being considered.