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Strike could cause delays at UK borders | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has advised that travellers could face potential disruption at UK ports following strike action by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) on Monday 8 March and Tuesday 9 March.

Around 12% of staff are joining the strike and so far there has been no disruption at any ports or airports, which are operating as normal a spokes person said.

The UK Border Agency’s Chief Executive, Lin Homer, has confirmed that contingency plans are in place to minimise delays, and that UK border security will not be compromised by the industrial action.

Lin Homer said:

‘We are disappointed that PCS members have voted in favour of industrial action.

‘Around 3,100 UK Border Agency staff (12 per cent) across the country are participating in the strike today. I am pleased that initial indications show that disruption at ports and airports has been kept to a minimum, with the vast majority of our facilities and services open for business.

‘We expect that people travelling into the country may experience some delays at border control, but we will work hard to continue to keep these to a minimum. We hope that passengers will welcome the commitment of those staff who will be working despite the strike action to ensure that we check passengers through the controls as quickly as possible.

‘The public will find it difficult to understand the PCS continuing to protest on their own against a package which brings the Civil Service into line with the rest of the public sector and still offers more generous terms than much of the private sector.’

There is localised service disruption today, and expected on Tuesday, at some of our contact centres, public enquiry offices and immigration reporting centres:

  • The immigration enquiry bureau is offering a restricted service, but you can still book appointments at public enquiry offices using the online booking service.
  • The nationality contact centre and asylum support contact centre are closed.
  • The public enquiry office in Wales and South West region is open and operating normally.
  • The Midlands and East region is operating a very limited service and has rescheduled all planned appointments.
  • There may be delays in processing claims at Croydon public enquiry office.
  • All other public enquiry offices are offering a restricted service, and have contacted customers and rescheduled appointments were possible.

The UKBA will publish updated information about the strike.

See also:

UKBA announce new immigration fees from 6 April 2010

Government’s new ‘international strategy’ to protect UK Border

Weekly Immigration News Round up 7 March 2010

Brazilian gang jailed for running passport factory in Bayswater

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