Heathrow Airport passport staff in strike ballot over roster dispute

Passport control staff at Heathrow Airport is closer to striking the dispute over duty roster changes with the prospect of possible delays for travelers.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said about 400 of its members are jailed in a row because of new “inoperable” labor rotas.

Officials said the move would prevent employees from applying for certain shifts, affecting those with caring responsibilities or disabilities.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said, “It is unacceptable to make roster changes that affect members with caring responsibilities and people with disabilities.

“Strikes are a last resort and the Home Office must negotiate in good faith with the union to avert industrial action at Heathrow.”

Paul Lincoln, director general of the Border Force, said, “With these temporary changes, Border Force officials are working in bubbles to protect themselves and the public from coronavirus. We have been in consultation with employees and unions since October.

“Border Force has solid contingency plans in place to ensure industrial action does not affect border security.”

A spokesman said the move to the new rosters will reduce the potential number of close contacts a border guard may have from up to 144 to just 40.

Organizations across the country have put in place similar arrangements to ensure that their employees and the public are protected.

The spokesman added that industrial action would unnecessarily disrupt travelers and the aviation industry at an already difficult time.


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