Border Force members at Heathrow to be balloted for strike action

PCS members who work for the Border Force in Heathrow Airport are to be balloted for strike action in a dispute over shift patterns and working conditions.

More than 600 Border Force officers based at Heathrow Airport are to be balloted for strike action, which could take place during the Easter holidays, potentially causing long queues at the UK’s largest airport.

In a ballot that opens today (1) and runs until noon on March 22 they will be asked if they are prepared to take strike action.

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.

Fire and rehire tactics may also be used by the employer to threaten our members. Members could have their contracts ripped up and be forced to accept new terms that are significantly worse than their existing contract.

The fact that Border Force members at Heathrow are being threatened with Fire and Rehire is "a disgrace," according to PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote.

She said that "the government should set the standard as an employer, not resort to this shameful and thoroughly discredited tactic".

Over recent weeks, hundreds of new members have joined PCS as a direct result of these proposed changes.

As the Home Office has refused to withdraw its proposals or to amend the new roster in any meaningful way, members are being encouraged to vote for take strike action and action short of a strike.

Fran has pointed out that "the employer can avoid strike action by withdrawing” these “draconian plans”, which she described as "an appalling way to treat long-serving, dedicated staff."

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