Hundreds of workers at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) office in Swansea have launched fresh industrial action in a long-running dispute over Covid-related safety.

The action is due to run from today (June 2) until Saturday, with the union warning it has entered a new phase of “sustained and targeted” industrial unrest for months to come.

The latest strike is the third time staff have walked out over demands for more safety measures.

More than 6,000 people work at the UK Government’s Swansea site and the union has said more than 2,000 staff have been going into the workplace every day during the pandemic.

That level of staff on site has raised serious concerns over safety, especially during the heights of the pandemic last spring and over the winter.

The union has previously called on the site’s management to significantly reduce the number of people working at the site.

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PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said a deal had been agreed to end the dispute, but claimed it was suddenly withdrawn at the 11th hour without any explanation.

He said: “Through painstaking negotiation, our union and DVLA senior management were on the verge of agreeing a deal only for it to be scuppered at the last minute.

“We strongly suspect senior ministers at the Department for Transport have interfered with the progress we were making and want to make some kind of ideological stand against PCS.

“They have grossly underestimated the resolve of our members in DVLA and have only emboldened them to take targeted and sustained action in the months ahead until they win.

“PCS is fully prepared for months of strike action, and we urge the Government to rethink its position.”

The DVLA insists it has done everything possible to keep workers safe and has followed official guidelines.

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