Local MPs Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) and Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) joined DVLA employees and PCS Union representatives at a demonstration at the Department for Transport offices in Westminster today (9 June).
Safeguarding of staff at DVLA sites in Morriston and Llansamlet has been an ongoing problem since the start of the pandemic in Spring 2020. Issues have included management’s reluctance to limit numbers working on site, slow implementation of safety restrictions and insufficient cleaning of shared workspaces and communal areas. An outbreak of Coronavirus at the Agency before Christmas also prompted further investigation and Union intervention.
Following two periods of employee strike action, lengthy negotiations between Management and Union representatives appeared to be making encouraging progress. Disappointingly, however, a proposed deal to bring an end to the dispute was taken off the table by the Agency last week leading to a third period of strike action.
In response, Agency employees and Union representatives travelled to London to present a letter to Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps MP, asking him to intervene and for the deal to be reinstated to avoid sustained industrial action in the coming months.
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said:
“It was important to join DVLA employees as they handed in a letter to the Transport Secretary at the DfT today.
These are our constituents who have been treated abysmally. Their safety was not prioritised from the start and DVLA Management’s handling of the situation throughout the pandemic has been very poor. Their last-minute withdrawal from the deal was the final straw.”
Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, said:
“Bringing the fight to Westminster puts a fresh perspective on the campaign after Agency Management took the proposed deal off the table.
We have supported DVLA employees from the start and will continue to stand with them through any further industrial action.