Passport workers' strike 'could jeopardise people's holidays'

Thousands of passport workers are striking in a row over staff numbers, as efforts to clear an ongoing backlog in applications continue.

The Home Office claimed the action could jeopardise people's holiday plans.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said poor staffing levels were partly responsible for the delays earlier this year.

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Passport workers go on strike over staff shortages

Passport Office staff are on strike over staff shortages which they say have led to a serious backlog in processing applications this year.

Workers outside the passport office in Victoria, central London go on strike over staff shortages. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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.

The action came following the highest demand for passports in 12 years. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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.

Customers wait to be served at the passport office in Victoria, central London. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

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Strike during passport backlog 'will jeopardise holidays'

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:

We are disappointed the PCS leadership has called this strike given that HMPO has been in discussions with the union on their issues of concern.

Holding a strike at this stage is irresponsible and will only inconvenience our customers and jeopardise their holidays.

We strongly urge PCS to reconsider this action which is not in the interests of staff or the general public they are dedicated to serving.

HM Passport Office staff know how important it is to hard-working people and their families to receive their passports in time for their summer holidays.

– Home Office spokesperson

Passport workers to strike as backlog continues

Thousands of passport workers will join a strike in a row over staff shortages as efforts to clear an ongoing backlog continued.

Passport Office staff are set to strike today as efforts to clear a huge backlog in applications continues. Credit: PA Wire

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.

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