DVLA workers vote to strike but fail to meet ballot threshold

·2-min read

Further strikes by workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) over Covid-related safety will not be held despite a big vote in favour of more industrial action.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) announced that four out of five members balloted backed more strikes, but the turnout was just under 40%, lower than the statutory threshold of 50%.

The union said its members were being denied the right to take industrial action because of “Tory anti-trade union laws”.

Workers at the DVLA site in Swansea have been involved in a long-running dispute over safety issues caused by the pandemic.

Industrial action started earlier this year.

The PCS has been calling for fewer staff to be based at the site as a safety precaution, but the DVLA says it has taken every measure it can to protect employees.

The union said it will seek urgent negotiations with DVLA senior management to discuss health and safety concerns around returning to the office.

PCS officials accused the Government of scuppering a deal to end the dispute in June.

A spokesman said: “It is frustrating for members who have voted for industrial action that they have been denied their democratic right to strike, due to some of the most repressive anti-trade union laws in western Europe.

“Our members are our number one priority, and we will continue to campaign for their health and safety at DVLA and across the civil service.”

A DVLA spokesperson said: “We welcome the result of the PCS ballot today which shows that staff in DVLA did not support industrial action.

“This clearly recognises that our workplace is as safe as possible and avoids further unnecessary disruption to millions of people.

“Our focus, and the focus for all staff at DVLA, remains on processing applications as quickly as possible and helping motorists across the country to continue on their journeys.”

A DVLA spokesperson added: “Fewer than half of PCS members turned out to vote in support of industrial action, this is just 17% of the entire workforce in DVLA.

“The overwhelming majority of staff, more than 80%, did not support further strikes in DVLA.”

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