DVLA strike: 'Significant impact' on operations as hundreds stage walkout in Swansea and Birmingham
Workers at the DVLA in Swansea and Birmingham have begun the first of a five-day strike in a dispute over pay, pensions and jobs.
Six hundred workers from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) whose job it is to assess people's ability to drive before granting them licenses are taking part in the latest round of industrial action by civil servants.
The union said it is calling for an above-inflation pay increase for its members.
Union members working for various government agencies including the Border Force, National Highways and driving examiners have been taking staggering action since mid-December.
It is part of a national campaign from the PCS after 100,000 civil servants in 124 government departments voted for action.
The general secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka said: “It’s no wonder our members at DVLA are angry.
"They are keen to do their jobs, to serve the public, but are struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
“They deserve, at very least, an above-inflation pay rise.”
There are over 6000 staff employed the Swansea DVLA site, with more at the Birmingham office with the strikes due to last until the end of the week.
In November 2021, strike action over Covid-19 safety was ruled out at the Swansea office after the vote turnout failed to reach threshold. Workers complained of the lack of safe distancing described as a "national scandal" at the time.
More recently, staff at the Morriston site in Swansea said they had been 'wearing coats, scarves and blankets' after heating failed at the site a few months ago.
In a separate dispute, PCS members working as legal advisers and court associates in more than 82 courts across England and Wales will strike on January 21, it was announced.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This latest phase of our targeted and sustained strike action comes as the Government launches another attack on working people by introducing anti-union legislation.
“By trying to stop unions taking action - something we will fight strongly against - the Government is attacking the symptom, not the cause."
A DVLA spokesperson said: “The quickest and easiest way to deal with DVLA is through our online services which, along with our Contact Centre, is operating as normal during this period of industrial action.
"It is very disappointing that PCS is incentivising union members by paying them to take part in action, and by targeting the Drivers Medical department they will negatively impact some of the most vulnerable people in society."