The Indianpost

Half a million air passengers warned over strike disruption

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) wrote to all airlines operating flights from the UK to warn that “some passengers may experience delays at the border”.

“Those passengers who can travel on an alternative day may therefore wish to do so,” the letter continued.

Border security could also be weakened by the strike action, the leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) warned.

At least seven out of 10 UKBA staff at some major airports are members of the union and are expected to walk out on Thursday.

Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said: “We expect longer queues and for managers to waive controls they would usually undertake. There will be less presence in terms of people coming and going. There is a theoretical risk to security in terms of smuggling and security of the borders, which essentially could be weakened.”

The PCS voted earlier this month to join the strikes, with a 61.1% support for the walk-outs from a turn-out of 32.4%.

Mr Serwotka said that UKBA attempts to draft in staff in place of usual passport checkers would not prevent delays.

He said: “It is likely that there will be severe disruptions and delays affecting both ports and airports. Our membership in Dover and Heathrow is particularly strong.”

Around 500,000 passengers pass through UK airports every day, with around one-third of those at Heathrow.

Jonathan Sedgwick, acting chief executive of UKBA, said: “We will do everything we can to minimise disruption and inconvenience to travellers. But our priority will always be to ensure that the UK border remains secure.”

Comments are closed

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Connect Pacifica