Around 1,000 Border Force officers in major ports announce strike during half-term

A Border Force official checks a passport.
Border Force officers in major ports are set to strike. Credit: PA

Border Force officers in major ports, including in France, are to strike during half-term in a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions, it has been announced.

Around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) in Dover, Calais, Coquelles and Dunkirk will strike on February 17, 18, 19 and 20.

The announcement comes ahead of a walkout on Wednesday by 100,000 civil servants in 123 government departments in what is the biggest civil service strike in a decade.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Our members perform vital roles. We therefore expect our strikes tomorrow will have a massive impact on public services.

“And the strikes we have announced today in the Border Force will impact on people returning from their holidays during the half-term period.

“For while the Government brought untrained military personnel in to replace our highly skilled and experienced officers in airports over Christmas, they won’t be able to do that in France."

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Tomorrow’s strike about pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security affects, among others, those working for the Border Force at airports and ports, those working as driving examiners and at National Highways, museums and art galleries, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Mr Serwotka said the blame for this fresh wave of strikes "lies firmly at the feet of ministers", who he said are "refusing to put any money on the table".

“They say they will talk about money for next year, but our members – who have been offered just a 2% rise at a time when inflation is around 10% – cannot afford to wait for next year," he said.

“Many civil servants are already having to choose between heating and eating, having to claim the benefits they themselves have to administer and they are having to go to food banks.

“Ministers should be ashamed at how they treat their own workforce and until they come to the table with money for our members, we will continue to call strike action, with tomorrow’s strike being a key part of what will be a continuous, sustained, targeted campaign.”

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