Heathrow passport workers to strike over Easter

Heathrow Airport passport staff to strike
Heathrow Airport passport staff to strike (PA Wire)
14:47pm, Thu 18 Mar 2021
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Passport control staff at Heathrow airport are to strike over Easter in a dispute over “unworkable” new rosters.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will take a week of action from April 1.

The union said the action involving up to 450 of its members, is in protest at the imposition of new rosters, which it added have resulted in travellers waiting in queues of more than seven hours to have their passports checked.

PCS members voted overwhelming for strikes earlier this year.

The action will take place at the same time as members of Unite plan to walk out in a separate dispute over pay and conditions.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “If a system causes people to stand in a queue for seven hours at passport control, the system is flawed.

“We would urge Border Force to do the right thing by passengers and our members, and agree with our reasonable proposals.”

Paul Lincoln, director general at Border Force, said: “These temporary changes involve Border Force officers working in bubbles to protect themselves and the public from coronavirus, for which we make no apology.

“This approach is advocated by several health bodies and the PCS national executive itself.

“We are disappointed that trade unions have not continued to engage with us.

“It is wrong to say the rosters are unworkable and cause delays.

“Any large delays have been due to passengers who should not have been allowed to fly in the first place and the Civil Aviation Authority are taking robust action with the carriers who allowed them to do so.

“Border Force has robust contingency plans in place to ensure any industrial action does not impact on border security.”

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