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Christmas travel chaos as Border Force staff to strike over the vacation | Travel News | Travel

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About 1,000 Border Force staff who’re members of the PCS Union will take motion over eight days. Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Cardiff airports.

The union has called strikes for December 23-26 and December 28 up until Latest Yr’s Eve on the 31.

Striking staff are chargeable for passport checks and represent about 75 percent of the staff working in those roles.

Families travelling to see relatives for the Christmas and Latest Yr holidays are prone to be hit by the strikes.

Mark Serowtka, general secretary of the Public and Industrial Services (PCS) union said that the union would escalate motion unless the Government improved its offer.

READ MORE: DEAL OF THE DAY: Travellers can get holidays under £250 with deal

He said: “Our motion will escalate in the brand new 12 months if this motion doesn’t get the Government to take a seat across the negotiating table.”

The Government has put some military staff on standby to assist plug the gaps left by striking Border Control.

The union is searching for a ten percent pay rise and a block on job cuts. It has 100,000 members across 214 departments.

Other employees across the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency, the Rural Payment Agency and National Highways are also set to participate in strikes.

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Serowtka said: “Like so many employees, our members are scuffling with the fee of living crisis.

“They’re desperate. They’re being told there isn’t any money for them, while they watch ministers giving out Government contracts price billions of kilos to their mates.”

He told LBC: “If the Government can switch its position on something like wind turbines to please a few of its backbenchers, then it will possibly switch its position on poverty.”

Busier airports, similar to Heathrow, could see extremely long queues as a result of the strikes with some passengers held on planes.

READ MORE: Cruise ship advises passengers to avoid area – ‘significant queues’

“The Home office advises that immigration and customs checks may take longer during peak times on strike days, and Heathrow will support Border Force to minimise these impacts with the aim of processing passengers through the border as efficiently as possible.

“Passengers are advised to ascertain their flight status with their airline before travelling. We encourage all parties to resolve this dispute quickly.”

British travellers are already facing strike motion on the railways with RMT members set to strike on several days around Christmas.

The strikes won’t affect the time it takes to process passport applications as that is handled by the Passport Office.

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