A Covid-related security dispute at the headquarters of the Driver’s License and Vehicle Agency is entering its 20th week, with the threat of further industrial action.
Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members at the Swansea site are asked if they want to take further action amid lingering concerns about health and safety measures related to the pandemic.
The DVLA insists it makes sure its offices are safe for staff, saying it is following official advice on handling the coronavirus.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka wrote to the agency to say that workers’ resolve is “stronger than ever,” adding that its members should not be blamed for delays in DVLA services as a result. conflict.
He said, âI understand people’s frustrations with the delays of some DVLA services, but I want to make it clear that the fault lies not with our safety-conscious members, but with DVLA management and government.
âIn June, our negotiating team was in talks with DVLA management to reach a fair settlement that would end the dispute satisfactorily.
âWe were then told that this agreement was withdrawn by a member of the government at the eleventh hour.
âAgreements negotiated in good faith should not be vetoed by government ministers without justification or explanation. Clearly, this decision to veto the deal has compounded the delays and backlogs.
âThe backdrop to these latest developments is the continuing rise in infection rates across Wales.
âThe rates of Covid cases in Wales are now at their highest level since the second peak in January and Swansea has the highest infection rates in the whole country, at 500 per 100,000 people.
âThis context is important because this dispute is, after all, about a fundamental right: the right of employees to be safe in their workplace.
âAfter all they have been through, our members remain determined and determined to get the settlement they deserve.
A spokesperson for the DVLA said the safety of its staff was “paramount”.
âStaff who can perform their role at home continue to do so, while those who cannot perform their usual duties at home work on site.
âThroughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with Public Health Wales as well as with Swansea Environmental Health and the Health and Safety Executive, who have carried out regular site visits and inspections and have repeatedly confirmed a high level of compliance with control measures. “