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DVSA strike: action impacting; and the quickest reinstatement ever?
Gary Freeman, Nottingham Socialist Party
PCS civil servants' union members at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency are on strike for four weeks from 22 August.
There are various issues that the national dispute is about (see 'DVSA workers strike for four weeks over conditions and workload' at socialistparty.org.uk). In Nottingham the main issues for the workers called out are staff numbers, why long term staff not directly employed are not made permanent, and bullying and harassment.
Agency workers are not on strike but like other staff have shown support. One agency worker, told the Socialist: "At about 15:40 [2 September] I was given my notice with immediate effect. I found out from my agency it was for having my photo taken with you [pickets] all last Friday.
"Once leaving the agency I got a call offering my job back. A union member had called up to fight my corner. They can't sack me for supporting the union as I am part of the union. I was reinstated 36 minutes after being terminated."
A lesson to all agency workers as to why they should be in the union.
Apparently, the employer is using call centre staff (for the public) on the IT service desk phone line, logging and passing on the jobs to keep abandoned numbers down. Yet today [3 September] before half a day had gone, dropped calls are over twice as high as they would normally be in a full day.
Management clearly realise the effect the strike is having. They have resorted to sending letters to strikers saying they will soon receive a mock payslip with the estimated amount of deductions and also saying "we welcome you back to work at any time" - trying to scare strikers and also pretend to be caring; all to encourage members to go back.
But one striker, Jordan, said: "Morale is high, we feel we have had to go on strike to get a resolution to the issues around staffing, bullying and harassment."
Another said being on strike has meant they are now happy to come into 'work' because they're not looking over their shoulder all the time.
The union welcomes support at the picket line outside The Axis Building, 112 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham NG1 6LP, Monday-Friday from 7am to 9.30/10am.
Donations and standing orders to the strike fund can be sent to:
- Unity bank
- A/c name: PCS fighting fund levy
- Sort Code: 608301
- A/c Number: 20331490
- Include in the reference DVSA strike fund
Messages of support to:
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
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: 07748 534 891
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041