Border Force strike: travel disruption warning at UK airports as PCS union members to walk out next week

Travellers are being warned to expect longer wait times at border control

Holidaymakers are being warned to expect disruption at UK airports next week as Border Force staff have confirmed further strike action.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union across the civil service will join hundreds of trade union members in “the biggest walkout for over a decade”, over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.

The proposed strike is due to start on 1 February and continue until 7am on 2 February, the union said.

Holidaymakers are being warned to expect disruption at UK airports next week (Photo: Getty Images)

The walkouts will impact international arrivals at all UK air and maritime ports, as well as those travelling to the UK from UK border controls in Calais, Dunkirk and Coquelles in Northern France.

Holidaymakers entering the UK on 1 February should expect longer wait times at border control and are urged to check the latest travel advice with operators before travelling. Passengers who are able to use the e-gates are advised to do so to help ease queues.

In a statement, the government said: “Military personnel, civil servants and volunteers from across government are being trained to support Border Force at airports and ports across the UK in the event of potential strike action.

“Border Force are ready to deploy resource to meet critical demand and support the flow of travellers and goods through the border, however those entering the UK should be prepared for potential disruption.”

The upcoming strike action follows a previous walkout by Border Force staff in December, which affected Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports, plus the port of Newhaven. The Home Office was forced to call in more than 600 members of The Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and civil servants to help.

More February walkouts

More strike action has been called next month as train drivers, teachers, nurses and ambulance workers are all due to walk out.

The Unite union confirmed earlier this month that its ambulance workers will be joining the GMB union in a fresh set of strikes on 6 February, alongside nurses, in what is set to see the biggest walkout in NHS history.

The industrial action will include paramedics, call handlers, drivers and technicians - a step up from previous walkouts. NHS chiefs have assured patients that walkouts will not stop ambulance staff from responding to life or death emergencies.

February will also be marked by industrial action by civil servants and university staff over pay and conditions.