UK Border Force strike dates: Border Force staff strike as thousands arrive at UK airports as Christmas getaway begins

Thousands of passengers arriving at airports in the UK are being warned they face disruption amid the start of Border Force strikes.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union employed by the Home Office to operate passport booths walked out on Friday at Heathrow, Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow and Manchester airports, and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

The Border Force strikes will take place every day for the rest of the year, except December 27.

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Around a quarter of a million passengers are arriving on flights at affected airports on Friday, including approximately 10,000 people who landed at Heathrow before 7am.

Thousands of passengers arriving at airports in the UK are being warned they face disruption amid the start of Border Force strikes.

Travellers were warned to expect delays amid fears that long queues at passport control could lead to people being held on planes, disrupting subsequent departures.

Military personnel and volunteers from the civil service have been trained to check passports.

There have been no changes to flight schedules, and no visible impact on passengers.

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport told the PA news agency: “Everything is going okay at the moment.

“There’s plenty of staff. The e-gates are all operating. It’s going well.

“There’s no delays as far as we’re aware, and no queues at the moment.

“I’m standing in arrivals and passengers are flowing through as normal.”

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Meanwhile, postal deliveries and driving lessons are set to be disrupted by strikes in the days before Christmas.

Royal Mail, National Highways and Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) employees are taking industrial action on Friday.

These workers will continue their strike into Saturday, when staff represented by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, Abellio London bus workers and Environment Agency employees will also launch separate waves of action.

This follows two days of strikes by NHS staff, as thousands of nurses walked out on Tuesday, and ambulance workers joined picket lines on Wednesday.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka warned travellers could face months of disruption unless the Government comes forward with an improved pay offer for Border Force staff.

“We think that the action at the borders is going to be very effective. We hope that the Government will therefore do the right thing and get around the negotiating table and put some money upfront,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“If not, we are raising money, we have a strike fund that means we can sustain this action. Our strike mandate lasts right up until May. We will be supporting this action up to May and we would re-ballot again if we have to.

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“I think in January what you will see is a huge escalation of this action in the civil service and across the rest of our economy unless the Government get around the negotiating table.”

National Highways workers responsible for motorways and major A-roads in London and the South East, also represented by the PCS, will continue their four-day walkout which started on Thursday.

Postmen and women represented by the Communication Workers Union walked out for their fifth day of December action and RMT railway workers will stage another strike from 6pm on Christmas Eve, which could prevent people from making it home for Christmas.