Socialist Worker

Staff could strike over coronavirus safety at Swansea DVLA

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2740

The DVLA office in Swansea, where workers could strike over coronavirus safety

The DVLA office in Swansea, where workers could strike over coronavirus safety (Pic: Nigel Davies/Geograph.org.uk)


Workers at a dangerously overcrowded government workplace in Swansea have said they are ready to strike over safety.

Some 88 percent of people who were surveyed at the large Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) office in Swansea said they’re up for a strike, in a survey by their PCS union.

Around 2,000 people from Swansea and the surrounding area are currently made to come into work by DVLA bosses.

And many workers report unsafe conditions.

More than 500 DVLA staff have caught coronavirus since September.

One DVLA worker told Socialist Worker, “Everyone is pretty angry.

“It’s bewildering to see so many people packed into largely one building.”

Demands

Some 400 workers attended an online meeting last week, where PCS officials said they would take demands to top DVLA bosses.

They were set to decide whether to push ahead with strikes at another mass meeting on Tuesday of this week.

The worker said, “A lot of people I spoke to who had been at the meeting were energised by it.”

They added that many workers support using Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act to refuse to work in unsafe conditions.

School workers used Section 44 collectively last month to halt government plans to force schools to reopen.

Workers in Swansea should take urgent action to shut down the DVLA office and protect lives.


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