PCS members at Heathrow vote for strike action

Massive ‘yes’ to striking over rosters by Border Force officers.

Border Force officers at Heathrow Airport have voted to take strike action over proposed changes to rosters and their working conditions in a ballot that closed today (22).

The members, who carry out immigration controls and passport checks, voted by 89.71% in favour of strike action and 94.35% for action short of a strike. The turnout passed the legal requirement of 50% for strike action and the additional hurdle that is imposed on staff working in Border Force that the number of individuals answering yes to the ballot question must be at least 40% of the number of individuals entitled to vote in the ballot.

The PCS members are angry at planned alterations to their shift patterns that would have a detrimental effect on all the current staff and leave nearly 250 without a job on passport control, including many with disabilities or caring responsibilities.

If they refuse to accept the new contracts, they would be forced to seek jobs elsewhere in the Home Office.

No dates have been announced for the strike, but the walkouts could begin as soon as April 8. PCS is currently challenging the government’s new Minimum Service Levels legislation in the courts. We will vigorously defend our members’ right to strike if ministers try to impose a work notice.

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said: “Our hard-working members in the Border Force are being forced out by a belligerent employer.

“It’s clear from today’s ballot result how angry and determined our members are to protect their jobs.

“It’s not too late for the Home Office to do the decent thing and drop these unnecessary changes and work with the union to protect jobs and working conditions.”

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