Jan 31, 2023
UK Passport Control Strikes Threaten Holiday Disruption at Ports
(Bloomberg) -- Holidaymakers returning to the UK by ferry during upcoming school holidays could face disruption after Border Force officers announced plans to strike at several British and French ports.
About 1,000 workers staffing passport booths will walk out from Feb. 17-20 at Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk, the Public and Commercial Services Union said Tuesday. The union is seeking a pay rise in line with inflation and rejects the current pay rise of 2%.
Border officials had already announced plans to strike on Feb. 1, alongside 100,000 other civil servants in a major day of strike action in the UK. Some 475,000 workers — including teachers and train drivers — plan to take action to protest below-inflation pay rises in the midst of an unprecedented squeeze on living standards.
“The strikes we have announced today in the Border Force will impact on people returning from their holidays during the half-term period.” said PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.
Read More: Strike-Hit Britain Is Starting to Look More Like France
A previous strike by border officials at airports over Christmas had little effect. Contingency plans involving members of the military working on passport control ensured that operations ran smoothly. Serwotka said that this won’t be possible at the ferry ports.
“For while the government brought untrained military personnel in to replace our highly-skilled and experienced officers in airports over Christmas, they won’t be able to do that in France.” Serwotka said.
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