UK Border Force officers to strike in school half term

British border staff will also strike at French ports of Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk

Lorries leave a passenger and cargo ship at the Port of Dover in England on January 30. Bloomberg
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Border Force officers in major UK and French ports have announced strike dates during the school half-term break in the long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Strikes will take place from February 17 to 20 with about 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk set to walk out.

The announcement comes before a walkout on Wednesday by 100,000 civil servants in 123 government departments, in the biggest civil service industrial action in a decade.

Tomorrow’s strike about pay, pensions, redundancy and job security affects, among others, those working for the Border Force at airports and ports.

It will include those working as driving examiners and at National Highways, museums and art galleries, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions.

“Our members perform vital roles. We therefore expect our strikes tomorrow will have a massive impact on public services," PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said.

“And the strikes we have announced today in the Border Force will impact on people returning from their holidays during the half-term period.

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“For while the government brought untrained military personnel in to replace our highly skilled and experienced officers in airports over Christmas, they won’t be able to do that in France.

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

“They say they will talk about money for next year but our members, who have been offered just a 2 per cent rise at a time when inflation is around 10 per cent, cannot afford to wait for next year.

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“Many civil servants are already having to choose between heating and eating, having to claim the benefits they themselves have to administer, and they are having to go to food banks.

“Ministers should be ashamed at how they treat their own workforce.

"And until they come to the table with money for our members, we will continue to call strike action, with tomorrow’s strike being a key part of what will be a continuous, sustained, targeted campaign.”

Updated: February 01, 2023, 6:05 AM