Tory MPs accuse union leaders of "staying home forever" after contradicting Boris Johnson's request to come back to the office
- Andrew Percy said union leaders couldn't stay home forever
- Union members were asked to challenge bosses who had ordered them to return to the desks
- Former cabinet minister David Davis urged public service union leaders to "behave responsibly".
Union leaders were accused last night of "staying at home forever" after resisting Boris Johnson's clear call for workers to return to the office.
Tory MPs reacted with anger after the public and commercial services union ordered its members to challenge bosses who ordered them back to their desks.
Former Minister Andrew Percy said it was "unacceptable" that important public sector jobs, such as passports, be undone while private employees tried to keep the country running during the coronavirus crisis.
"It is unacceptable that they refuse to go back to work while people in distribution centers and factories across the country have continued to work during that time to feed officials," he said.
Union leaders were accused last night of "staying at home forever" after resisting Boris Johnson's clear call for workers to return to the office
"Many of these workers now want to vacation and cannot have one because they refuse to work in offices again, which can be achieved safely."
"Union leaders can't stay home forever – especially now that we know people can safely return to work."
After the Prime Minister's call, Alex Chisholm, the new chief operating officer of the civil service, told all ministries last week that it was time to "change the requirement that officials start working from home on August 1st and return." to accelerate to work ".
However, the union for public and commercial services informed its 200,000 members that they did not have to accept these guidelines and claimed that it was a political problem.
A spokesman for PCS, Britain's largest civil service union, said the demand for a back-to-the-office process was not based on the health and safety of our members or on supporting our economy. It is based solely on political pressure from some Tory MPs who demand that the civil service serve as an example to get everyone back to work.
Former Minister Andrew Percy said it was "unacceptable" that important public sector jobs would be reversed while private employees tried to keep the country going
"Our advice to members is clear: if you work from home and are approached by someone in your department who asks you to go back to work, don't just accept that you have to do it."
The dispute is amid growing concerns about passport delays caused by homework. More than 400,000 people are now said to be waiting to process their applications.
The Home Office has now announced that it will try to speed up applications from Britons who travel within the next 14 days and have been waiting for the passport office for more than four weeks.
The PCS has admitted that some people have to wait 143 days for passports, but insists that "small and often cramped offices" make it difficult for the 4,000 Passport Office employees to distance themselves socially.
Former cabinet minister David Davis urged public service union leaders to "behave responsibly" and work with the government to find a way to get people back to work.
He added that if he were in government he would ask union leaders: "What do you suggest? That you stay at home all summer? "
However, Mr Johnson's request to get people back to their offices was not followed by some of the UK's leading companies. A study of large employers with a total of 400,000 employees found that only about 40,000 of them returned to work.
Former cabinet minister David Davis urged public service union leaders to "behave responsibly".