LONDON – Following news from the PCS Union this week about UK Airport Border Force Strikes, Cirium has revealed that it will affect over 10,000 UK flights.
As seen via the table below, the 10,072 arrivals that will be affected amount to 2,022,024 seats, which is a substantial number of passengers to be disrupted by this strike action.
The Strike Action…
It is understood that the strikes will take place in two phases.
The first phase will take place between December 23-26, with phase 2 between December 28-31.
As seen in the table above, this is going to affect the following airports moving forward:
- Birmingham (EGBB/BHX)
- Cardiff (EGFF/CWL)
- Glasgow (EGPF/GLA)
- Gatwick (EGKK/LGW)
- Heathrow (EGLL/LHR)
- Manchester (EGCC/MAN)
Those who are striking are specifically the personnel who check the passports of people arriving in the country.
PCS, otherwise known as the Public and Commercial Services Union, is calling for a 10% pay rise, better job security, and no cuts to redundancy terms.
Mark Serwotka, the General Secretary of the PCS Union, explained to Sky News that the current pay doesn’t fall in line with inflation as 40,000 of its members were having to use food banks.
“This is a crisis”.
“We keep being told the government has an open door, but there is no point in the door being open if there is nothing behind that door.
“The public sector has no option other than to take industrial action because our members currently are skipping meals, not being able to put the heating on at home because of the poverty they are living in.”
86% of the 100,000 union members voted in favor of this strike action.
Are Cancellations On The Way?
It can probably be expected that with Border Force personnel striking, and potentially in high numbers too, it’s safe to say that flights will probably be canceled.
No airlines have outlined any cancellations thus far, but this will probably emerge over the next week or so as we get closer to the strike dates.
This, in turn, is going to put further strain on UK infrastructure, as the RMT Union, who represent the locomotive industry, are striking on similar dates as well.
Such disruption to public services like this is deliberate, especially if it means causing the population to get angrier about the current UK Government’s approach to the economic struggles currently being faced.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick has dubbed the strike action as “unjustifiable” and has said it will ruin the plans of families and businesses in the UK:
“While we are working closely with all UK ports and airports and have robust plans in place to minimize any delays if strike action goes ahead, passengers should be prepared for their plans to be severely disrupted.”
“Those intending to travel over strike days should keep up-to-date with the latest advice from operators before making journeys this Christmas.”
Overall: All Eyes Are On The UK Government…
From the perspective of the UK Government, it’s clear that they need to get the unions to the table, as echoed by The Airport Operator’s Association:
“We urge Border Force, the Home Office, and all government departments to get back around the table to resolve these strikes before they begin or put in place concrete and deliverable contingency measures to keep the border operating smoothly.”
With aviation being a key part of the UK transport infrastructure, all eyes are on the government to see what solutions they can offer without causing widespread disruption over the Christmas period.