The chief of striking Border Force employees in the UK has warned that travel disruptions might last for months unless the government increases its salary offer.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, predicted a “massive increase” in public sector industrial action in January if governments do not engage in negotiations.
On Friday, December 23, 2022, around 1,000 PCS workers employed by the Home Office to run passport booths walked off the job in Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, and the Port of Newhaven in East Sussex.
Mr. Serwotka said he hoped the Government will “do the right thing and get around the negotiating table and put some money upfront”.
“We are raising money, we have a strike fund that means we can sustain this action.
“Our strike mandate lasts right up until May. We will be supporting this action up to May and we would re-ballot again if we have to.
“I think in January what you will see is a huge escalation of this action in the civil service and across the rest of our economy unless the Government gets around the negotiating table.”
Border Force officials cautioned passengers to anticipate delays due to concerns that large lines at passport check might result in passengers being delayed on flights, affecting following departures.
On the first day of the strikes, however, the deployment of military soldiers to verify passports prevented travelers from seeming to be delayed.