Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/721/14630
DVLA workers strike to defend services
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) took strike action on 1 June against government plans to close all 39 of the DVLA local offices, ten enforcement centres and three processing centres. This would mean there would be no face-to-face services for DVLA customers and would also mean 1,200 job losses.
PCS points out that the government is making these cuts as part of their austerity measures but that it is a false economy. Not only will it put more people on to the dole queue but will also mean a rise in vehicle excise duty evasion which will cost the exchequer tens of millions each year.
In Nottingham, PCS members walked out at 3pm. This is the start of a month of rolling action by PCS in the Department for Transport (DfT). Jan Watts, DfT Midlands branch secretary, spoke to the Socialist: "It's been a fantastic success here. All members have walked out apart from two managers. So I'm really proud of everyone.
"We're doing this today because we're all under attack. It will mean that everything will need to be done via the post or the internet, which we don't think is a viable service for the public. And also, putting another 1,200 people out of work in this economic climate is completely nonsensical."
The action was solid at the Leeds office, with not a single member of staff left inside. Management had to close the office prior to the walkout to ensure back office tasks were completed before the long bank holiday weekend.
Mike Mackie, assistant branch secretary of PCS DVLA Northern branch said: "All 39 DVLA workplaces took industrial action today. In Leeds, every one of my comrades walked out showing a fantastic level of support. This is against attacks directly to our jobs and our workplaces, including closing all 39 local and enforcement offices."
Iain Dalton and Becci Heagney
In The Socialist 6 June 2012:
Fight the cuts!
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