A “catastrophic” backlog in processing driving licences is due to management decisions which “put people at risk”, MPs have heard.
Risk in the workplace
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) which represents the workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) offices in Swansea, South Wales, said an agreement on improved working conditions was withdrawn “without any explanation”. There have been 643 coronavirus cases at the site including one person who died, he told the Transport Select Committee.
The DVLA has had the single biggest Covid outbreak of any workplace in the UK. It’s operated out of central Cabinet Office guidelines for handling the Covid pandemic. It has taken management decisions that we believe put people at risk.
There have been concerns from motorists, trainee drivers, and lorry drivers about long delays in receiving documents from the DVLA.
A parliamentary question from 5 July revealed that the turnaround time was between six and 10 weeks due to on-site social distancing requirements and the industrial action. PCS members have launched a series of strikes as part of a campaign for more safety measures to be taken, including a reduction in the number of staff expected to work at the site.
Further action is planned.
The catastrophic state of the backlog at the DVLA in Swansea is primarily now down to the industrial dispute that exists between the workforce and the DVLA management.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?