Border force strike: Staff to walk out at several UK airports this Christmas - including Heathrow and Gatwick

The Public and Commercial Services union has confirmed the strike will last eight days over pay and working conditions this Christmas season.

Christmas passengers are expected to face travel chaos over the festive season after a border force strike was confirmed on Wednesday (December 7). Over 1,000 staff will walk out from a number of UK airports over eight days.

Border force workers and members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union are disputing issues such as pay, jobs and working conditions. It will affect Glasgow, Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham airports.

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The strike will start on December 23 and last until New Year’s Eve on December 31. It will affect air travel as border force staff are responsible for checking passports of passengers as they leave and enter countries.

Mark Serwotka, who is the general secretary of the PCS, has promised that the situation will escalate and get more disruptive each week unless the UK Government put “money on the table now.” In a statement, he said: “We, like nurses and teachers and paramedics and other people in the public sector have no option but to take industrial action because our members currently are skipping meals, not being able to put the heating on at home because of the poverty they are living in.”

Workers in the Border Force at Gatwick Airport, the Port of Newhaven and several other airports across the UK will go on strike for eight days over Christmas in a row over pay, the Public and Commercial Services union has announced. Picture by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A number of strikes have already been called by the PCS that will fall directly across the festive season. For example, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Highways Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) among others.