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- Posted:Friday, July 31, 2009
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Airport strike ahoy
A hefty whack of immigration officers - over 1,200 in actual fact - could walk out on their jobs in protest against plans by the UKBA to amalgamate work usually done by customs officers into their daily timetables. Not only do the UKBA want to implement changes to work schedules to include duties like strip searches - not what the officers have been trained to do - it also wants to alter shift patterns that could see a dip in wages for immigration staff.
Although the Public and Commercial Services Union - which represents the immigration officers - is trying to negotiate terms with the UKBA in order to avoid any strike action, general secretary Mark Serwotka did unequivocally state that "immigration officers are angry at being forced to do a job that they weren't recruited to do".
So if you are planning on heading off for a bit of backpacker travelling, I'd suggest you check your ticket and see when you're heading off because the chances seem to be that a strike is going to happen. And if it's not this particular one then there's always the possibility of the British Airways baggage handlers deciding to take action following the proposal of a series of cutbacks, which could mess up your plans as well.