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Fears of Easter holiday travel chaos as Heathrow set to strike

The call for strike action comes as a result of border force staff being unhappy about planned changes to rosters and shift patterns

Athena Stavrou
Saturday 02 March 2024 21:01 GMT
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There could be long queues at Heathrow Airport when thousands of families after trying to get away for their holidays
There could be long queues at Heathrow Airport when thousands of families after trying to get away for their holidays (PA Wire)

Families may face Easter holiday travel chaos as Heathrow border force staff threaten to strike.

More than 600 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union based at Heathrow Airport are to be balloted for action.

The union said this could potentially cause long queues at the UK’s largest airport for families trying to get away over the school holidays.

The call for strike action comes as a result of border force staff being unhappy about planned changes to rosters and shift patterns.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) claim this could force some staff to quit and said they are also striking over poor working conditions.

“As well as seeking to impose a new team working fixed roster from 29 April, Border Force is proposing the removal of members’ legacy terms and conditions, reasonable adjustments, and flexible working arrangements,” the PCS said.

The PCS says hundreds of workers have joined the union in recent weeks (PA)

The union said that over recent weeks, hundreds of new members have joined PCS as a direct result of the proposed changes.

In a ballot that opened on Friday and runs until noon on 22 March, members will be asked if they are prepared to take strike action.

Fran Heathcote, the PCS general secretary, said: “Our members at Heathrow are united in their opposition to these draconian plans.

“One aspect of the plans would force workers to choose between finding another job or losing their allowances. Another would see others having to sign up to new, exhausting shifts or leaving altogether.

“This is an appalling way to treat long-serving, dedicated staff, so it’s no wonder we’ve recruited hundreds of members in recent weeks.”

Around 1,300 planes take off and land at Heathrow each day, making it one of the busiest airports in the world.

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