Travel chaos ahead for Brits as Border Force officers to strike at Heathrow Airport during half term

17 May 2024, 16:08

Heathrow staff have announced strike dates for the back end of half term.
Heathrow staff have announced strike dates for the back end of half term. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Hundreds of Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport are set to stage fresh strikes over the half term in a dispute over rosters.

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More than 500 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will take part in strike action on 31 May and 1 and 2 June.

They will also refuse to work overtime for three weeks from June 4.

It comes after officers who work in terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5 took four days of action last month.

The PCS said it expects the walkouts to disrupt passport checks for travellers arriving at UK airports.

The union said it had written to the Home Office after previous industrial action to ‘highlight the many problems raised’ with the new system.

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said: "We are keen to resolve this dispute but the Home Office must first put something on the table for our members to consider.

"The Home Office has said it is 'open to discuss' a resolution but it only responded to our request for a meeting after we threatened further action.

"Until it comes back with changes to the roster that will benefit our members then the dispute will continue."

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Border Force officers have planned strikes at Heathrow Airport.
Border Force officers have planned strikes at Heathrow Airport. Picture: Alamy

A spokeswoman for Heathrow Airport said it would work with the Home Office on plans to minimise disruptions to passengers.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We are disappointed with the union's decision to strike but remain open to discussing a resolution with PCS union.

"The changes we are implementing will bring the working arrangements for Border Force Heathrow staff in line with the way staff work at all other major ports, provide them with more certainty on working patterns, and improve the service to the travelling public.

"We have robust plans in place to minimise disruption where possible, but we urge passengers to check the latest advice from operators before they travel."

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