UK passport staff walk out

Month-long strike timed to cause holiday disruption

Passport Office in Birmingham

The Times reports this morning that holidays will be hit as passport staff walk out over pay. More than a million applications face delay with month-long strike ‘timed to cause disruption’

As people begin to think about their summer holidays, a month-long strike at the Passport Office is set to delay more than a million applications, putting tens of thousands of holidays at risk. Brits needing new passports were urged to get their applications in quickly before the strike by 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).

Holidaymakers flying from Heathrow at Easter have also been warned to expect “severe delays and disruption” after the Unite union said security guards would take part in a ten-day strike in another dispute over pay. The strike, which will hit departures from Terminal 5, will begin on Friday, March 31, and finish on April 9, Easter Day.

Allow up to ten weeks to get a passport

The Passaport Office strike, over pay and conditions, will last from early next month to early May — traditionally one of the busiest periods for applications. Last year the Passport Office received 950,000 applications in April and 1.25 million in May. They employ 4,000 people, meaning it will lose about one in four staff during the strike.

The Home Office said it was still urging passengers to allow up to ten weeks to get a passport. It added that preparations were under way to meet demand. However, experts urged applicants to move fast if they needed a new passport — or were applying for a first one — before the summer.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

UK passport staff walk out 1

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