2 July 2021

DVLA dispute raised at Prime Minister’s Questions

Prime minister Boris Johnson showed he is ill-informed about the ongoing Covid safety risk at the DVLA in Swansea when the PCS dispute was raised during prime minister’s questions.

Labour MP for Neath, Christina Rees used her first ever PMQ to question the PM about the decision of Dft and DVLA management to increase the number of staff attending the office at DVLA HQ in Swansea. Since June, when numbers attending the office were over 2000, an additional 450 staff have been forced back into work despite Covid-19 rates in the Swansea Bay area increasing substantially.

In her question the MP asked: “Why does the prime minister feel it is so acceptable for the DVLA to have returned over 450 staff to its Swansea site, contrary to government advice, as some of them can work and have been working effectively and safely from home?”

In reply the Tory leader said that as he understood it “rates of infection and disease have been declining at the DVLA site.”

The DVLA’s own figures contradict this statement with numbers this week confirming 7 positive cases among staff, which is an increase, as well as 10 suspected cases announced on Wednesday (30) with a further 14 suspected cases which we were notified of on Monday (28).

Ms Rees is writing to Mr Johnson regarding his misleading response and once again demanding that transport minister Grant Shapps positively engages with PCS to bring about an end to the dispute.

An agreement negotiated with PCS which could have ended the dispute was withdrawn at the last-minute by the employer at the end of last month.

DVLA branch chair Sarah Evans is speaking at the online Women Chainmakers' Festival at noon tomorrow. Sign up for a ticket and show her your support.

How you can help

  • Donate to the strike fund. This fund supports members financially when they are striking and therefore not being paid by their employer. The details are: account name: Fighting Fund Levy. account number: 20331490 sort code: 60-83-01, reference: DVLA
  • Sign the e-action. PCS has launched an e-action to ask transport secretary Grant Shapps to intervene to keep members safe.
  • Messages of solidarity. Write in support of striking DVLA workers by emailing responseteam@pcs.org.uk.