Covid fear sparks DVLA staff strike at Swansea HQ

According to a union, DVLA staff is afraid of going to work due to Covid. A four-day strike has been started at DVLA headquarters in Swansea, by the associates of the PCS union.

Since September, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency workplaces have reported over 500 Corona cases. However, an official from DVLA has stated that they have been following all SOPs given by the Welsh government.

Apart from the headquarters in Swansea, DVLA employs over 6000 employees all across the city. According to PCS, they have asked 3300 associates working at the headquarters to protest for worker’s safety.

These members, according to PCS include the operations personnel; who have to come to do their jobs physically. According to the union’s general secretary, this decision was important.

He stated that DVLA has more corona occurrence as compared to any other agency in the United Kingdom. It was also stated that people have lost their lives and have contracted the virus because they were asked to come to work in person.

According to one of the largest HGV training provider, HGVT “THis is a disastrous news for training centres like us. We have been waiting to get test dates from DVLA after a long lock down and now we have this strike. THis is bad for business – bad for the country’s economy and employment. Hundreds of drivers are waiting to get teh test dates when the country has over 60K driver shortage”.

The union stated that almost all public administration departments in the Uk make sure that the majority of their employees are working from home. However, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency calls in a total of 2500 employees  to work from their workspace. During a global pandemic this can be hazardous.

He also mentioned that the junior staff has been asked to come to work physically while the managing employees are allowed to work from home. He stated this situation is very disreputable.

According to the union, improvements have been made during their talks with the agency, but as the employees are still instructed to come for work, they have to go on with the strike.

An accord has been made to send home 300 workers, for them to work from home. Furthermore, it has been decided on how to improve the situation through talks in the future.

An alarming situation has been seen as PSO has stated that the agency still has a staff of 2000 employees, who have been going in for work every day when clearly so many people should not be allowed to come into work.

According to the union, due to the strike the paperwork would have been delayed, also the calls that they receive at their contact center. However, they also stated that the online services would still be available.

However, according to sources, since 24th March 2021, no new occurrences of Covid-19 have been reported.

According to Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency officials, The health and safety of their staff is vital for them and they have taken every measure to protect the health and safety of their employees in the past and will still carry on doing this as first priority.

They also stated that from a total of 6,000 employees, there is not a single employee who is not part of the 10 day long quarantine period.

The official also said that they have been working with Public Health Wales, environmental health, and Swansea bay Health Board to impose safety measures for their working staff.

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