Passport control staff vote for strike action

Passport control staff at one of the country’s busiest airports have voted for strike action over new “unworkable” rosters being imposed.

Local management have forced the changes without agreement with the union which include ending the ability of staff to swap and request certain shifts. 96.4% of those who voted said ‘yes’ to strike action on a 68% turnout. 

Members are deeply concerned that this will impact on those with caring responsibilities and disabilities who have relied on this flexibility in order to do their jobs effectively.  

PCS has raised concerns over equality data being incomplete and the employer’s legal obligations towards staff members with protected characteristics not being adequately addressed. Border Force have cited stopping the spread of Covid as the reason for the changes.  

However, local reps believe the changes had been planned for some time and the pandemic was being used as a pretext to force them through now.  

PCS also pointed out that the Home Office was slow to introduce other Covid safety measures such as temperature checks, PPE and screens last year.  

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This huge mandate for strike action has come about because Heathrow management have tried to use Covid-19 as a cover for imposing roster changes which will have a negative impact on those with disabilities and caring responsibilities. 

“Heathrow management need to recognise the strength of feeling amongst our Home Office members and return to the negotiating table in good faith, to advert strike action at one of the country’s biggest airport.”

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