The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has confirmed that the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union are asking members across the civil service to participate in ‘industrial action’ or walking off the job in plain English.
The ‘action’ will consist of a number of one day strikes across Home Office and UKBA business areas on 16, 17, 18 and 19 April 2013.
The PCS did not comment on what effect the strikes would have on the estimated 150,000 backlog of old cases and the 50,000 new cases waiting to be put on to the system.
The UKBA said:
“We are currently implementing well-rehearsed local contingency plans to deal with the strike action and do not expect any significant disruption. Our top priority is to ensure the continuation of our public-facing services and our public offices will remain open for business.
“We will contact any customers who have appointments, and may be affected, to reschedule appointments as necessary. If we do not contact you, you should attend you appointment as arranged.
“If you call one of our customer contact centres you may experience longer than usual wait times. We would ask you to be patient and we will answer calls as quickly as possible.”
The UKBA apologises for any disruption to services that may occur as a result of this industrial action.
Anyone who watched last night’s Channel 4 Dispatches programme will be left in no doubt that the moral at the recently abolished UKBA must be at an all time low.
Posing as temps recruited by the UKBA to clear the backlog of 150,000 cases, the Channel 4 sent undercover reporters into the agency’s caseworking team in Sheffield.
A reporter found one case which took 14 years to be decided, while Romanian and Bulgarian BR1 yellow card cases take 4-6 months for a simple permission to study and work for an EU citizen.
Watch the full programme for the next 7 days on Channel 4:
If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: