June 15, 2024

Further strikes will take place at Heathrow 

Border Force staff at London’s Heathrow Airport will take strike action later this month in an ongoing dispute over new rosters. 

The Public and Commercial Services union said that more than 500 members will take three days’ strike action from May 31 to June 2. This will then be followed by three weeks of action “short of a strike” that will include an overtime ban.

PCS confirmed that it wrote to the Home Office to highlight “the many problems raised with the new roster system” and expressed “widespread disquiet and anger” among its members, following previous strike action at Heathrow, from April 29 to May 2.

A statement published on Friday read: “We have set out to the Home Office that we are keen to try to find a resolution. But it was only following the threat of further strike action that the Home Office has only just indicated they are willing to meet. However, as yet, there’s been no consideration of the impact of the new roster on staff nor has the employer come back with any proposed changes. Therefore, as it stands the action will go ahead.”

It added: “The members are committed to the action and expect that their walkouts will disrupt passport checks for travellers coming into the UK at Heathrow airport.”

The airport is working closely with the Home Office and Border Force on contingency plans and noted previous such strike action “has been managed successfully”.

The strike action is in response to a new fixed roster that came into place from April 29, which put all staff into new teams and makes it more difficult for officials to swap to different shifts.

All staff were also moved to the annualised hours allowance system (AHA), giving employees an extra allowance in exchange for the employer having control over when hours are worked and having the flexibility to change shifts at short notice.

These changes particularly affect workers with disabilities or those with caring responsibilities.