After weeks of criticism over lengthy queues at Heathrow airport, up to 4,600 immigration officials are expected to walk out on May 10 in a dispute about pensions. They will coordinate their strike with 200,000 public sector workers who have already announced plans for a national day of industrial action.
Home Office officials last night drew up contingency plans to draft in Military Police officers and civil servants to man immigration desks. They said disruption would be “minimal” and advised passengers not to cancel.
One union representing border staff warned of queues of up to four hours at Heathrow, which is already overstretched, because the drafted-in staff would take even longer to process passengers.
Another raised concerns that passengers may simply be waved through without being checked if long queues built up. They say this happened during a Border Force strike in November.