UK Travel Chaos: Travel Delays Due To Border Strikes Mid-February

UK Travel Chaos: Travel Delays Due To Border Strikes Mid-February

Travellers returning to the United Kindom mid-February have been warned to expect delays due to the latest round of strikes by Border Force officials over disputes on pay, jobs and working conditions. 

It has been reported that around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) at four UK ports will walk out from 17, 18, 19 and until 7 am on 20 February 2023.

The strike is part of a larger coordinated action by thousands of civil servants. 

“The blame for these strikes lies firmly at the feet of ministers who are refusing to put any money on the table”. 

PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka

Locations Affected By Border Strikes

In response to industrial action planned by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, the British government confirmed that the ports of Calais, Dover, Dunkirk, and the Coquelles Channel Tunnel terminal would be affected.

The Home Office advised travellers “to check with travel agents, tour operators, and airlines/carriers before travelling, to check if the proposed strike action will affect your journey”.

The statement notes that military personnel, as well as civil servants and volunteers from across the government, are being trained in order to support Border Force at ports and airports in the United Kingdom, in case of potential strike action.

Border Force is ready to deploy resources 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 statement reads.

Passengers have been encouraged to use e-gates to re-enter the country where they are available to help minimise disruption. Travellers should note that e-gates are not available at UK border controls at French ports.

“Please respect staff as we try and get you through the border as quickly and safely as possible. All forms of abuse and any inappropriate behaviour will be reported to the police.”

Statement from UK Home Office

How Strike Action Affects Travel

The new strikes follow the action at six airports on 1-2 February and over the Christmas period. On 1 February, Border Force officers took part in a series of coordinated strikes involving teachers, civil servants and train drivers. Around half a million workers walked out.

Strike action by train drivers on 1 and 3 February resulted in significant service disruption. With commuter trains inevitably impacted, many workers struggle to get into the office. 

During the Christmas Border Force strikes, passport checks at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham were affected. Border Force staff at the port of Newhaven, East Sussex, were also included in the strikes.

More than 10,000 flights carrying up to 2 million passengers arrived at the affected airports during the strike period, according to aviation analytics company Cirium.

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