The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) has confirmed a strike action that will affect travelers and goods entering the UK on February 1 and 2. The strike will impact Border Force operations, which means that travelers may face longer wait times at border control.
Members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union, including Border Force staff, previously organized a strike over the Christmas and New Year period. Now, they will take part in what PCS says will be the “largest civil service strike for years.”
The proposed strike dates are February 1 and 2 until 7 am. The action will impact international arrivals at all UK air and maritime ports, as well as all passengers traveling to the UK from UK border controls in Calais, Dunkirk and Coquelles in Northern France.
Last summer, travelers faced long delays during the border checks at the Port of Dover due to staff shortages and new Brexit controls.
Border Force are ready to deploy resource to meet critical demand and support the flow of travelers and goods through the border, however those entering the UK should be prepared for potential disruption.Home Office and Border Force
Military personnel, civil servants and volunteers from across government will support Border Force at airports and ports in case of a strike action.
Why are border force officials striking?
Border Force officials are demanding a 10% pay rise, in line with the inflation of 10.6%.
According to Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, February’s strike would cause significant disruption. However, he added, the high cost of living has left workers with no choice but to strike.
We have no option but to take industrial action because our members are using food banks and not able to switch on the heating right now.Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary
Serwotka added that the government could “stop the strikes tomorrow if it puts money on the table.”
All travelers with a trip planned for February 1 should check the latest travel advice with operators before traveling and should be prepared for longer wait times at UK border control. Passengers eligible to use eGates are encouraged to do so. People traveling into the UK via any entry point should be ready for disruption.
Travelers are encouraged to check with travel agents, tour operators, and airlines if the proposed strike action will affect the journey. They can also check the airport websites to stay up to date with the latest news.
Hauliers who are moving goods during the strike should be prepared for potential disruption and longer queues.