Hard working staff at the DVLA in Swansea have the backing of Welsh Labour MPs as they vote on strike action after being put under totally unacceptable levels of risk by their employer insisting they work in their office rather than from home.
I and my fellow MPs support the move by the PCS Union to ballot its members, including many from my Aberavon constituency, for industrial action as a last resort to improve safety at the agency offices.
Why we support the PCS action
As local Labour MPs who all have constituents that work at DVLA Swansea, we have real concerns about the health of staff there during this covid crisis. We supported the position in the first lockdown where only essential workers came onto site – between 250 and 500 at the time.
Constituents of ours have written to us in large number to express their concerns about staff numbers and safety on DVLA sites. Since staff were brought back in September last year, cases on site have escalated to over 550 positive cases and sadly a staff member death. This is unacceptable and the fact that the minister and DVLA management are refusing to substantially change their position on this is shocking.
We believe the PCS union have tried every means possible through negotiation to get an agreement to have more staff working from home. That has been blocked by the Chief Executive and the Minister Grant Shapps.
Despite all the representations in Parliament and wide scale media coverage the numbers coming into work are still reckless, irresponsible and unnecessary when the message from the government is stay at home.
Therefore we understand and support the move by the PCS union to ballot its members for industrial action as a last resort to improve the safety of its members and our constituents.
We urge members to participate in this ballot and vote yes and for the senior management and ministers to get back round the negotiating table with a better and safer offer for staff.
Carolyn Harris MP Swansea East
Geraint Davies MP Swansea West
Tonia Antoniazzi MP Gower
Stephen Kinnock MP Aberavon
Christina Rees MP Neath
Nia Griffith MP Llanelli