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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 August 2021

Ballot majority essential to continue DVLA strike action

Dave Warren, PCS rep Swansea DVLA, takes part in the PCS National day of protest on 30 November 2012

Dave Warren, PCS rep Swansea DVLA, takes part in the PCS National day of protest on 30 November 2012   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Warren, Swansea Socialist Party and former DVLA worker

The industrial action over workplace safety at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has now entered its fifth month. The PCS union has operated a strategy based on targeted action, bringing out groups of workers at different times and paying them strike pay of £40 a day. Currently, members in the Drivers Medical Group are on strike for the whole of August.

Having members on selective strike for a month represents a certain escalation of the action. However, with an intransigent government looking over its shoulder, questions remain about whether targeted action will be enough to force DVLA management back to the negotiating table.

DVLA made an offer back in May which the union would have recommended to members. But ministers vetoed it in a clear political decision to take on the union rather than reach a settlement.

In these circumstances, Broad Left Network members (which includes the Socialist Party) in PCS advocated a further escalation to involve all members in strike action. It was the threat of such action that led to the offer in May, but the idea was never actioned. Faced with continued government and management intransigence targeted action must be linked to a move to an all-out strike if members demands are not met.

DVLA have been steadily increasing the number of workers required to attend the workplace over the summer, paying no heed to the union's demand for the option to work from home given the risk of a further mass Covid outbreak. To date, there have been around 650 Covid cases at DVLA with one fatality.

Under the Tory anti-union legislation, there must be a new ballot to renew the strike mandate after six months and this is due in September. There will also be a consultative ballot from 11 August to build for the statutory ballot. It is essential that there is a big majority for continuing the action.

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In The Socialist 11 August 2021:


NHS

Defend the NHS. Fight the Tory pay insult. Prepare strike action!

NHS: Kick out the privatisers, Fight for funding, Build for strike action


News

Tory government nationalises Sheffield steel plant

Tory cuts worsened crime and Johnson 'blitz' won't help

Fight energy price hike

Thanks to the miners - an example of workers' struggle and solidarity

News in brief


Comment

Olympic 'success' masks cuts and inequality in sport

Starmer's faithful Guardian


Campaigns news

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Rising against a rigged and rotten system - Socialism 2021

London Pride cancelled - pandemic shows protest Pride is necessary

London: Hundreds protest for trans rights

Save Newham's theatres from Labour council cuts!

Socialist Party young members summer school

A day in the life of a young hospitality worker

West Midlands: austerity and capitalism offers no future for young people

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Don't privatise Dudley libraries

Socialist Party: Solely funded by the working class

Review - The Struggle for World Socialism


Housing

Waltham Forest: Fighting for a home for Nadia and homes for all


History

August 1991 - The aborted military coup in the 'Soviet Union'


Workplace news

Ballot majority essential to continue DVLA strike action

Night tube strike suspended to allow talks - scrap compulsory duties!

RMT strike solid on East Midlands rail

You need a union when the time comes to fight

Unions protest at exploitative Leicester company Food Attraction

Over 3,000 votes for fighting socialist programme in CWU

NSSN to lobby TUC


International news

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trianglePCS consultative pay and conditions ballot - vote 'Yes'

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