- 4 updates
Passport Office staff are on strike over staff shortages which they say have led to a serious backlog in processing applications this year.
Workers set up picket lines outside the passport office in Victoria, central London, during a strike over staff shortages which they say have led to a serious backlog in processing applications this year.
As many as 30,000 people have been caught up in the backlog as the number of passport applications topped the highest ever last month in excess of 775,000.
Permanent jobs need to be "put back" into the passport office if another backlog is to be prevented, according to the union which represents their workers.
Mike Jones, from the PCS union, said passport office employees were walking out because there needed to be "a permanent solution" to the staffing shortages which had caused the original backlog.
Industrial action by passport office workers "will jeopardise holidays" as efforts to process the backlog of applications continue, the Government has said.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
Thousands of passport workers will join a strike in a row over staff shortages as efforts to clear an ongoing backlog continued.
The Passport Office said the highest demand for applications in 12 years caused the long delays in processing passports.
Extra staff had to be drafted in to cope, while Home Secretary Theresa May was forced to apologise to those affected.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said poor staffing levels were partly responsible for the backlog of passport applications, claiming numbers had dropped by more than 300 since 2010.