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The Highways Agency office in Leeds

Today, PCS members in the Highway Agency have taken part in their seocnd walkout this month against cuts to the Department for Transport (DfT). At present these attacks are concentrated particularly on civil servants in the DVLA and the Maritime Agency, where in both agencies face office closures, and action against these attacks and more is being co-ordinated across the DfT with 2 walkouts having taken place in their offices (see reports of action by PCS members in DVLA in Leeds here and here.)

Iain Dalton, Leeds North West Socialist Party

I visited the Leeds office of the Highways Agency where I spoke to Branch Secretary Phil Walshaw and Branch Chair Libby Lloyd. They told me that the union was well organised in the office and the action today had been very well supported.

Phil explained that “As well as the proposed office closures in the DVLA and Maritime Agency, we’ve seen changes to redundancy payments, proposals to introduce regional pay, attacks on our pensions and a pay freeze.”

“Todays action is our second day and its is part of co-ordinated action across the whole department. We’re facing a intransigent government who don’t want to negotiate, so as this action shows we’re prepared to be in this fight for the long haul because our members have just had enough. We’ve seen constant attacks on our terms and conditions, but we’re prepared to stand up and be counted.”

Libby commented “Although our office doesn’t directly face closure and we aren’t as yet threatened with redundancy, they are looking to privatise or mutualise our agency. We’ve no doubt privatisation would lead to job losses. David Cameon has said he wants us to be run like the water industry, but anyone living in the areas where they’ve had drought can see how bad that would be.”

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