Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1118/31914

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 January 2021

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Dave Warren when he was PCS rep Swansea DVLA, taking part in a PCS National day of protest on 30 November 2012, photo R. Job

Dave Warren when he was PCS rep Swansea DVLA, taking part in a PCS National day of protest on 30 November 2012, photo R. Job   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Warren, Swansea and West Wales Socialist Party

As a former worker at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), I have not been surprised by reports of hundreds of Covid cases among staff. This is a massive government complex, spread over two main sites in Swansea, employing around 5,000 people.

While many are working from home, most of those in lower grades are having to attend work. Outdated IT systems cannot be adapted for homeworking.

Attending work involves using buses in many cases. As in any large office building, everyone knows how easily even ordinary viruses like colds can spread. But Covid puts a new and deadly slant on an old problem.

Sickness punished

The overriding ethos of DVLA is to maintain output and productivity. Its attitude towards everything else, including health and safety, is coloured by this. Sick absence is punished in the same way as misconduct, with formal warnings and dismissal.

In the first lockdown, the chief executive told staff in a circular that they were key workers and should attend work. When workers then attempted to place their children in schools, they were told they were not recognised as key workers, and the schools could not accept their children.

A week or so later, HR sent out another circular explaining that they were working on a list who would be required to attend work. Eventually, some workers were allowed to stay home on full pay, but this time around these same workers are now being forced to attend work.

The safety of workers cannot be trusted to DVLA or any other government department or agency. The workers themselves should democratically decide on health and safety procedures, and what is considered 'essential work'.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the workers' union PCS, says he has intervened with government ministers regarding DVLA. But more is needed. PCS must give a lead now and take collective action to get workers out of an unsafe environment.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 27 January 2021:


News

Covid spreading, poverty rising, rich get richer, fight for socialism!

Health, Covid and the vaccine: It's a class issue

Poverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Fees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

DVLA Covid outbreak: They only care about output and productivity

Jaguar Land Rover: West Midlands superspreader


Schools

Schools: 'We have to fight for everything'

Martin Powell-Davies for NEU DGS: "We need to use our collective strength"


What we think

Biden, Labour, and the need for a new mass workers' party


Workplace news

Sage care workers strike again: Billionaires refuse to pay up

Unison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

Merseyside: DHL workers at Burton's Biscuits strike against half-baked pay deal and bullying bosses

British Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

Low-paid hospital workers strike


NHS

Overwhelmed, underfunded, underpaid, and still fighting for safe PPE

Health worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic


Arab Spring

Ten years since the 'Arab Spring'


TUSC

TUSC is up and running for May elections

Come to the TUSC local elections conference - 7 February

Why I'm leaving Labour and campaigning for TUSC

Councillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently


Campaigns

Solidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

Save Our Square from New Labour gentrification

Help fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!


International socialist news and analysis

Mass protests in Russia against Putin regime


Review

TV Review: It's a Sin

TV review: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 January 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

DVLA:

triangleDVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action

triangleBallot majority essential to continue DVLA strike action

triangleEscalation needed

triangleDVLA workers suspend strike for talks

trianglePCS elections: increased support for Broad Left Network

Covid:

triangleTories to blame for GP crisis

triangleNews in brief

triangleTax fraud could be over 20 billion annually

triangleTV Review - Help: Heart-wrenching portrayal of Covid care home crisis

Workers:

triangleReinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

triangleUniversity workers ballot for strike action

triangleFight to defend homelessness services

Government:

triangleContainer delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more

PCS:

triangleUnite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Mark Serwotka:

triangleAn exchange with Mark Serwotka about sales of the Socialist

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/10/21

Housing

Housing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

20/10/21

Unite

Unite union policy conference

20/10/21

UCU

University workers ballot for strike action

20/10/21

Napo

Napo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

20/10/21

Llanelli

Reinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

20/10/21

Brighton

Brighton bin workers' victory in sight against Green-led council

20/10/21

Budget

Ealing People's Budget - cuts can be resisted

20/10/21

Budget

Northampton People's Budget - cuts and privatisation is a failed strategy

20/10/21

DWP

Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

20/10/21

Bus

Gwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay

20/10/21

Pay

Scunthorpe scaffs strike for pay

20/10/21

The Socialist

"Are you the socialist cabby?"

20/10/21

Children

Hackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

20/10/21

Protest

Biggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

20/10/21

Doncaster

Doncaster: Vigil condemns violence against women

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999