Border Force officers set to strike at Heathrow next week

About 600 Border Force officers at Heathrow airport are set to walk out on strike for four days this month (April 11-14).

In a ballot that closed last week, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) who carry out immigration controls and passport checks at the hub voted by 90% to walk out in a dispute about a new roster and imposed changes to shift patterns.

The union said in a statement: “The changes could see as many as 250 staff forced out of their jobs by the end of April and will particularly affect workers with disabilities or those with caring responsibilities.”

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said: “Ministers have 14 days to withdraw these unfair and unnecessary proposals or our members at Heathrow will take strike action.

“Ripping up flexible working arrangements is no way to treat staff especially, as the government says, their work is critical to our nation’s security.

“If the government is serious about border security, it should look at Border Force officers’ job security, look after its staff, scrap the changes and work with us to protect jobs and working conditions.”

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “As reassurance to passengers, strikes such as this have been managed successfully before and we’ll be working closely with Home Office on contingency plans.”

A Home Office spokesperson added: “We are disappointed with the union’s decision to strike.

“Keeping our borders secure remains our top priority. We have robust plans in place to avoid disruption, and will deploy necessary personnel to meet demand on what we have long known will be one of the busiest travel days. We are confident in our plans to minimise the impact of this industrial action.

“We always recommend that passengers check the latest advice from their operators before travelling.”

Picture by EQRoy/

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