Manchester Airport could face Christmas chaos after border staff strikes announced

Public and Commercial Services union released the strike dates for their Border Force, passport, and visa staff over the Christmas period in a fight for a 10% pay rise

Manchester Airport could face travel chaos after border staff announced plans to strike. The industrial action will take place on December 23, 24, 25 and 26, as well as 28, 29, 30 and 31 at Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Gatwick, Heathrow terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5, Manchester Airports, as well as New Haven port.

This afternoon bosses at the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union released the strike dates for their Border Force, passport and visa staff over Christmas. 

There are concerns the strikes will see the return of lengthy queues and the cancellations which blighted UK airports this summer.

The Government has put over 600 military personnel and civil servants on standby to deal with the potential disruption at airport.

"We have had 10 consecutive years of below inflation pay rise," general secretary Mark Serwotka told a press conference today. Noting the above 10% rate of inflation this year, the union leader said: "This is a crisis."

“We may need to reduce the demand at ports and airports alike down to 70 per cent to 80 per cent of normal levels,” the anonymous source said.

An airport chief added: “There is going to be some impact and there is concern we cannot keep people just flying into the country and waiting in halls in long queues. We will have to make cancellations because there is no way of getting people through the border.”

The PCS union is seeking a 10% pay rise, and a block on job cuts and reductions on pensions.

The union is one of the biggest in Whitehall with 100,000 members across 214 government departments. The union represents 15,000 workers connected to the aviation industry.