The Socialist

The Socialist 13 October 2021

Fight for the pay rise we deserve

The Socialist issue 1151

Fight for the pay rise we deserve

Workers need a pay rise


Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers


Pandora property speculators fuel housing crisis

Social care funding needed now

News in brief


Who runs Unison: lay members or the paid officials?

Place Unite at the head of the anti-Tory movement

Oaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies

National Education Union deputy general secretary election

College strikes continue into third week

60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike

DVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action


Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies


Hundreds march with Youth Fight for Jobs


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


Hackney: Stop closure of children's centres

Durning Hall: Hands off our community space

March to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks


Newcastle United takeover - no to billionaire Ashley or Saudi despots

Ridley Road: An engaging story of fighting fascism

Readers' comments

 
 
 
 
 

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DVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action

Swansea DVLA workers on strike in July, photo Swansea Trades Council

Swansea DVLA workers on strike in July, photo Swansea Trades Council   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Warren, PCS member and former DVLA worker

PCS members at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are balloting from 12 October to 10 November on whether to continue their campaign of industrial action over Covid safety.

The original ballot was held in March, with a prolonged campaign of targeted strikes in progress since April. With the legal mandate having expired after six months under the anti-union legislation, it is now necessary to reballot.

Covid cases at DVLA continue to rise, with almost 900 reported since September 2020 at the last count. This amounts so far to almost one in six of the total workforce. This shows that the problem at DVLA is real and we can expect things to get worse as winter approaches.

The vaccination programme has reduced hospital admissions and deaths but not prevented them entirely. Admissions and deaths will increase as the infection rate in society climbs.

This is not the time to bring more staff back into the workplace. Yet that is exactly what DVLA has been doing and intends to pursue in the weeks to come.

The advice from the Welsh Government is to work from home if possible, and it is obviously possible for staff who have previously been working from home to continue to do so. Yet they are being made to come back to the workplace. This is irresponsible and makes no sense.

This dispute can be won with a strong lead from the top.

DVLA members have shown great resilience and determination so far. They have already voted for industrial action in one statutory ballot and two consultative ballots. They have endorsed proposals for industrial action in every Zoom meeting when called on to do so. Most importantly, they have responded in large numbers to every call for industrial action.

But all these efforts must be made to count, and to do that a 'yes' vote is needed again.

The Broad Left Network, the socialist group in PCS to which Socialist Party members belong, has supported the action of members at DVLA throughout the dispute, and urged the leadership of PCS to escalate the action, to put maximum pressure on management and ministers.

Unfortunately, the Left Unity leadership of PCS has dragged its feet from the start, only balloting for action three months after the mass Covid outbreak last December, refusing to escalate the action to include all members, and refusing to collectively use Section 44 to prevent management forcing people back into the workplace.

There is a growing awareness among members that if the strike mandate is renewed, the full collective strength of the 3,500 members at DVLA must be mobilised to overcome management and government resistance and to win the dispute.

  • Messages of support should be sent to [email protected] and donations to Fighting Fund Levy, account number 20331490, sort code 60-83-01, reference DVLA
  • See the Broad Left Network leaflet at pcsbln.wordpress.com/2021/10/08/vote-yes-yes-to-stop-spread-of-covid-in-dvla

In this issue


We need a pay rise!

Fight for the pay rise we deserve

Workers need a pay rise


What we think

Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers


News

Pandora property speculators fuel housing crisis

Social care funding needed now

News in brief


Workplace news

Who runs Unison: lay members or the paid officials?

Place Unite at the head of the anti-Tory movement

Oaks Park pickets vote for more strikes to defeat bullies

National Education Union deputy general secretary election

College strikes continue into third week

60 steelworks scaffs march in second week of all-out strike

DVLA: Workers ballot on further strike action


COP26

Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies


Youth Fight for Jobs

Hundreds march with Youth Fight for Jobs


Winter of Discontent

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


Campaigns news

Hackney: Stop closure of children's centres

Durning Hall: Hands off our community space

March to save Stratford arts jobs from Newham Labour attacks


Readers' opinion

Newcastle United takeover - no to billionaire Ashley or Saudi despots

Ridley Road: An engaging story of fighting fascism

Readers' comments


 

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