Passengers who are flying into Heathrow Airport are experiencing delay this morning after reports that Border Force staff failed to turn up to work. Posts to social media have claimed that Border Force “haven’t turned up at London Heathrow” and “e-gates are shut”. One described scenes of “chaos” at Heathrow Terminal 5. Another said passport control took “twice the time” of their flight.
Around 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, who are employed by the Home Office to operate passport booths, had walked out at six UK airports, and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex from Friday, December 23, until Saturday, December 31, except December 27, reports MyLondon.
Strike action was supposed to end at around 7am on New Year’s Eve.
The military took over passport control for striking workers, with many praising the services for being run with “military precision”.
One person wrote on Twitter that they were “stuck” with their “wife and kids” at the aiport.
Colin Botfield who is travelling tweeted: “@UKBorder haven’t turned up at all @londonheathrow and e gates shut too. Disgrace!”
Members went on strike over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms. Travellers were warned by Border Force bosses to expect delays amid fears long queues at passport control could lead to people being held on planes, disrupting departures.
But passengers passing through Gatwick and Heathrow claimed they’ve had faster and smoother queues than ever before as the military took over for striking workers.
More to follow…