Britiain's border agency says strike to cause airport delays

29th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Border Agency warned travellers to expect long delays on Thursday as its staff vowed to join in a 24-hour public sector strike against pension reforms, The Telegraph reported.

The agency advised passengers using Britain's airports, ferry terminals and the Channel Tunnel link to "travel on an alternative day", although most tickets for travel have already been booked.

Around 70 percent of staff of the UK Border Agency, responsible for securing the frontier and controlling migration in Britain, are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which plans to walk out on Thursday after talks between the Trade Union Congress and the government collapsed on Monday.

The PCS also claimed there was a "theoretical risk to security" as pressurised staff relaxed passport checks in order to keep the queues moving.

In a letter to airlines, the border agency cautioned: "Some passengers may experience delays" and "those passengers who can travel on an alternative day may therefore wish to do so," the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Staff from the National Union of Teachers, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and the University and College Union will also join in Thursday's action.

Up to 750,000 teachers and civil servants will take part in the biggest industrial action since the coalition government came to power in May 2010.

Under government proposals, public sector workers will pay more into pension schemes, retire later and will have their payouts inflated according to the usually lower consumer prices index rather than the retail prices index.

© 2011 AFP

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