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Staff from the closure threatened coastguard stations in Lee-on-the-Solent and Weymouth walked out on strike in the early hours of this morning (Friday 8th May) in the latest phase of a month of action by transport workers.
The strike between 3am and 4am has kicked off a week-long series of walkouts by Maritime and Coastguard Agency workers in protest at plans to close nine of the UK's 18 coastguard stations and cut more than 140 jobs.
It also involves stations at Brixham, Falmouth and across the UK. The union believes the closures would mean the loss of life-saving local knowledge around our coastline and could put lives at risk.
The industrial action will:
- start with night shift workers from 3am until 4am on Friday
- followed by day shift workers from 11am to 12pm on Saturday 9 June
- then alternate between night and day shift strikes up to and including the day shift Friday 15 June
- all walkouts will be between 3am and 4am on nights, and 11am and 12pm on days
Driving test examiners and thousands of workers at the DVLA in Swansea are also taking action today.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "We have always had grave concerns about the government's proposals to cut coastguard stations and staff, and we know this is shared by people in our coastal communities. "We believe these cuts could put lives at risk, and we want ministers to abandon the plans and talk to us, the public and seafarers in a genuine effort to establish the kind of coastguard service we need, and to invest to ensure the proper resources are put in place."