Drivers fume over major DVLA delays as strike action continues

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DVLA employees have been taking industrial action since early May. The organisation’s staff at its Swansea headquarters have been on strike due to COVID-19 safety fears.

Britons have expressed anger on social media with the DVLA.

Many people have complained they have been waiting weeks for driving licenses and other paperwork.

These delays have mostly been caused by industrial action within the organisation.

Staff who are members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) started four days of industrial action from May 4.

Strikers accused the DVLA of making them work in unsafe conditions.

The union said at the time it was taking action after negotiations over the number of staff working at the site each day failed.

The PCS said that 2,000 people a day went into the offices despite staff’s concerns over safety procedures after a COVID-19 outbreak at the Swansea centre last December.

It called for the number of staff to be reduced to hundreds and for vulnerable staff to be allowed to work from home.

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The DVLA, however, said that it has followed all Welsh Government advice on safe working and warned that the action will affect motorists.

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary at PCS, said that “unreasonable and crass” behaviour by DVLA management had led to the strike going ahead.

Since May 4, DVLA employees have continued to strike.

This week, industrial action took place from Monday, June 7, to Saturday, June 12.

The DVLA announced the strike on its Facebook page, saying: “Industrial action is scheduled between Monday 7 June and Saturday 12 June that will directly affect DVLA’s contact centre service.

“During this time, we advise you not to call our contact centre. There will also be delays on our web chat, email and social media channels.”

A warning is also stated on its website, informing customers that the quickest and easiest way to complete their application is by using the agency’s online services.

The statement read: “Social distancing requirements mean that we must have fewer staff than usual on site at any one time.

“If you post applications to us, which must be processed securely on site by a member of staff, they will take longer than if you apply online.

“Ongoing industrial action will also cause delays in processing paper applications and for customers trying to contact us.”

However, many Britons are angry with the DVLA over the delays.

Many have taken to social media to complain.

One person wrote on Facebook this week: “Omg!! This is absolutely ridiculous. I sent off for my provisional on the 28th April and I’m becoming quite impatient now.”

Another customer said: “Been trying to get through on the phone for four days. I call ten times a day at different times, still no luck. The issue I have cannot be resolved through the online service.”

One person fumed: “This is beyond a joke now. I appreciate staff have concerns and so must strike. Every time I ring, industrial action. Application made early February and still no result. Why don’t we shower Grant Shapps with complaints. The crazy thing is we pay for DVLAs services.”

Another angry person added: “I’ve been waiting for my license to be renewed since September 19 and you’ve messed up at every opportunity! You are not fit for purpose and have cost me 18 months salary! Forgive me for not caring about your problems! DVLA should be reformed and relocated to somewhere that can supply employees that can do the job properly!”

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