Border Force Strike — The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has announced that another Civil Service industrial action is proposed to start on 1 February and will impact Border Force operations across the country.

The proposed strike will affect all international arrivals at all UK airports and maritime ports. This means that all travellers planning to come to the UK from the 1st of next month (February 2023) may face queuing for longer hours at border control.

Second Border Force Strike in Less Than 2 Months

If this proposed strike action goes ahead, it will be the second in less than two months and will affect all international UK airports and maritime ports across the country.

The first happened at the peak of the Christmas holidays (23-31 December 2022). All major airports in the country, including Birmingham (BHX), Cardiff (EGFF), Glasgow (GLA), London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester (MAN) were all affected by this. All the travellers who flew in or out of the UK during this period can attest to this.

With no headway between the PCS union and the government, another one looms unless a conclusive compromise is reached before D-day.

What to Expect

Passengers waiting at the aiport
Passengers should expect longer wait times due to the border force strike | © Kelly, Pexels

In the event of strike action, which should kick off from 1 February to 2 February (7 am), every traveller entering the UK  through any of the entry points expects disruption and long queues.

Here is what Home Office official had to say:

“As you’d expect, accurate queue time data can take some time to gather and check, however, if you are travelling during the proposed strike dates, be prepared for longer wait times.

There are multiple factors that might influence wait times, including an increase in passenger numbers, flight delays and flight bunching. Weather delays and other ad hoc incidents can also impact border control queues.”

The Home Office also advised travellers to check with travel agents, tour operators, and airlines/carriers to check if the proposed strike action will affect their journey.

What is the Government Doing?

Military personnels
The government will deploy volunteers, military personnel, and civil servants to assist and replace Border Force agents| © Pixabay

The government will deploy volunteers, military personnel, and civil servants as they did last month to assist and replace Border Force agents on 1 February.

They have also advised travellers to be patient and respect officers working to secure the border and keep citizens safe during the border force strike.

Passengers eligible to use eGates are advised to do so wherever available.

What do you make of these reoccurring Border Force Strike in the UK? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.

 

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