DVLA staff set to start month of strike action

Belgian bar in Southsea applies to extend its hours

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A MONTH of strikes is to begin tomorrow with a walk-out of staff at closure-threatened Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency offices in Portsmouth and elsewhere in the south east.

The two-hour strike will involve around 1,200 staff in the DVLA’s 39 local and enforcement offices that the government plans to close, including Borehamwood, Bournemouth, Brighton, Maidstone, Oxford, Portsmouth, Sidcup, Theale and Wimbledon.

It has been organised by the Public and Commercial Services Union on behalf of its 8,000 Department for Transport members.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘With unemployment high and our communities suffering as a result of the government’s cuts, ministers should be providing all the help they can to local economies that are crying out for support and investment.

‘Instead they’re ploughing on with entirely unnecessary and unpopular cuts to vital transport services.

‘These strikes across the whole range of transport services form a major part of our ongoing fight against cuts to pensions, jobs and pay.’

The DVLA strike from 3pm will be followed from June 8 by a two-hour strike by driving examiners on that date and a week-long series of short walkouts in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency against plans to close eight of the UK’s 18 coastguard stations and cut more than 140 jobs.

The union says the loss of coastguard agencies will mean a loss of life-saving local knowledge around Britain’s coastline.

Further strikes will be held throughout June by staff in the DfT’s headquarters and its seven agencies, including the Driving Standards Agency and Highways Agency.