Driving test examiners to strike
Driving test examiners are set to take part in a two-hour long walkout on Friday, which will be followed by a week of strikes in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) have also announced that strikes would continue to be held throughout June at the Department for Transport’s (DfT) head office and at numerous other agencies.
Strikes are taking place over further government cuts, including the closure of eight of the UK’s 18 local coastguard stations. The PCS has condemned the cuts and closures, including the proposed closure of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) offices, which it said would “wipe out the high quality face-to-face services these offices provide to the public and motor traders”.
Students wishing to take their driving tests should continue to turn up for the exams, said Mark Peacock, the head of BSM Driving School. He went on to say: “Taking your driving test is a big day and can be nerve-wracking enough without the thought of strike disruption.”
The general secretary of the PCS, Mark Serwotka, summed up the reasons for the strikes. He explained that in times of unemployment and suffering amongst communities, the government should be providing support and financial assistance to local economies.
“Instead,” he said, “they’re ploughing on with entirely unnecessary and unpopular cuts to vital transport services. These strikes […] form a major part of our on-going fight against cuts to pensions, jobs and pay.”
The government seems to be facing a growing number of disputes, with doctors and teachers planning to take industrial action over the course of the year if pension disputes are not resolved.
The DfT have, however, promised that services won’t be affected by the strikes, saying: “Contingency plans are in place to ensure delivery of essential services to the public continues throughout the planned strike action.”