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Coastguard workers act over cuts

Coastguard staff are launching a week of industrial action over jobs and closures.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) across the UK will end their shifts an hour early and start the next shift an hour later until July 24.

The union is in dispute over plans to close nine of the UK's 18 rescue stations and cut more than 140 jobs.

The PCS called for the cuts to be halted, warning that they will put lives at risk.

Meanwhile, staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will strike on July 27 over office closures.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Instead of investing in our communities which are already suffering from high unemployment, ministers are ploughing ahead with unnecessary and unpopular closures and cuts.

"In the case of the coastguards we believe these cuts will put lives at risk, and it is time that ministers started listening to the very real concerns of their own staff and the public."

The action follows a strike by driving test examiners last week as part of a long-running dispute over cuts at the Department for Transport and its agencies which saw a series of stoppages last month.

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