Fresh strikes by DVLA staff in Covid-safety dispute

Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent
·2 min read

Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are to stage fresh strikes in a dispute over Covid-related safety.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at the site in Swansea, south Wales, will walk out for four days from May 4, following industrial action earlier this month,

The union is calling for a reduction in the number of staff who need to go into the office to work after concerns were raised following a number of coronavirus cases last year.

The union said extensive negotiations have been held to try to resolve the dispute, but claimed managers were insisting that more than 2,000 staff had to go into the office every day.

General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The arrogance and intransience of DVLA senior management is outrageous and our members have been left with no choice but to take further strike action.

“DVLA and ministers need to understand the levels of fear and anger within the workplace and that our union will support staff every step of the way.”

A DVLA spokesman said: “It is very disappointing that the PCS is pushing ahead for a second round of industrial action in May which will affect motorists as restrictions are easing and the UK vaccination rollout programme is making such great progress.

“Cases of Covid-19 among DVLA staff remain very low, and currently there is just one positive case out of a workforce of more than 6,000, including those working at home.

“DVLA has ensured that it has followed Welsh government guidance at every single point throughout the pandemic having consistently worked with Public Health Wales, Environmental Health and Swansea Bay Health Board to introduce a wide range of safety measures.

“This has enabled DVLA staff to continue to deliver essential services to the public right across the UK in a Covid-19 secure way.

“DVLA’s online services will operate as normal during this period of strike action and we advise customers to use those wherever possible.

“Those posting paper applications to DVLA or trying to reach our contact centre are likely to experience delays.”