Air Passengers arriving at UK airports on May 10, 2012 are warned of fresh problems and should prepare themselves for delays and disruption, as members of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the UK government’s immigration agency and a part of the Home Office, stage a walkout due to pensions disputes.
The Immigration Service Union (ISU), representing around 4,500 UKBA employees, will be on strike for 24 hours on May 10, 2012. In response to the government’s proposals for pension reform in the public sector, the ISU, in a statement, has said that ‘ISU members cannot work until their late 60s. Their jobs are too physically demanding’, and urged the government not to implement the changes.
In a statement, British Airways, a UK-based airline has said that it is ‘planning to operate a normal schedule and will continue to speak with the UK Border Agency in order to minimise any inconvenience to arriving passengers.’
Gatwick Airport has stated, ‘The UK Border Force is taking industrial action for 24 hours from 00.01 on Thursday May 10. During the planned strike, we will be working closely with UKBF to make sure that there’s as little disruption as possible to airport operations, however, passengers may experience some delays at the Border Zone.’
Heathrow Airport passengers are already facing massive queues at immigration, due to a reduction in the Border Agency task force, which has seen the government and corporate sector both demanding a quick resolution. The current strike will only serve to compound the problems at UK airports.