The situation the Driver Vehicle Agency (DVA) workers at County Hall, Coleraine find themselves in is becoming desperate and a dreadful example of how workers can be treated by government, according to local SDLP MLA John Dallat.
In a statement this week, Mr Dallat said: “The consultation process is long gone, the countless representations have been made and the arguments have been won but there has been nothing but a wall of silence from Westminster where the fate of their workers will be decided.
“This is totally unacceptable and is taking an awful toll on the 300 workers affected by the proposals to move the work to Swansea where there are already 6,000 employed.”
The MLA said that the government delay in making a decision over the threatened local jobs was “demoralising” the workforce.
“We know that the centralisation plan to date has been a disaster with millions of pounds paid out in overtime at the Welsh centre yet the technology is available to do all this in Coleraine if only there was the investment and the will.
“Every politician worth his or her salt should be banging on the door of the Secretary of State, the Ministers of State and the government ministers who are clearly dithering and dallying and demoralising tan entire workforce which needs the solidarity of everyone until common sense prevails.
“One MP, presumably in a moment of weakness, has enquired about ‘Plan B’ when he should have been making it clear that there must be only one plan and that is to retain the centre at Coleraine.
“Common sense must surely tell every elected representative that Coleraine needs nothing more than investment and commitment from government to modernise it. Surely it is the responsibility of all politicians to get the message across that centralising thousands of jobs in one centre and moving them from an economic blackspot is not the behaviour of a government with an eye on equality and justice.”
DVA campaigners took their plea to 10 Downing Street in December. A delegation of DVA staff members, politicians, union and business representatives handed in a petition with over 40,000 signatures.
The government wants to centralise services at the DVA in Swansea, Wales.