Border Force staff at Manchester Airport set to strike over Christmas

"The government can stop these strikes tomorrow if it puts money on the table."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 8th December 2022

Border Force officers at Manchester Airport are set to stage strike action for eight days over the Christmas period.

As the UK continues to see industries and unions calling industrial action left, right and centre at the moment, with the army now even said to be “on standby” as the country prepares for rail, postal, nursing, ambulance, and lecturer strikes throughout December, staff working in the Border Force at Manchester Airport and several others are to walk-out over Christmas.

PCS Union has announced that its members employed by the Home Office on passport control will take action at Manchester Airport, as well as London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow airports.

Around 1,000 Border Force staff will walk-out at these airports on 23, 24, 25, 26 28, 29, 30 and 31 December 2022.

The strike action comes after 100,000 PCS members in 214 government departments and other public bodies voted to take strike action, the PCS Union explained, and also follows several other public sector strikes announced by the Driver and Vehicle Standard Agency (DVSA), Rural Payment Agency (RPA), National Highways, and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


In all, 86% of PCS balloted members voted in favour of strike action across 124 government departments and public sector employers.

The industrial action set to be taken by Border Force staff is over a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security, and no cuts to redundancy terms. 


“The government can stop these strikes tomorrow if it puts money on the table,” explained PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka ahead of the strike action set to take place.

“Like so many workers, our members are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. They are desperate. They are being told there is no money for them, while they watch ministers giving out government contracts worth billions of pounds to their mates.

“Some sections of the media have accused us of playing politics with these strikes but let me be clear – our dispute is with the employer. 


“We will fight to improve our members’ pay, terms and conditions regardless of who is in Downing Street.”

Border Force officers at Manchester Airport are to strike for eight days over Christmas / Credit: Phil Mosely (via Unsplash)

As Christmas is known to be a busy time at airports across the UK, the strikes by Border Force staff are very likely to lead to longer queues at passport control, the Home Office has warned, and airports are now advising travellers to check the status of their flights before travelling.

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The Home Office has explained that the strikes are likely to affect people returning to the UK rather than departing.

The length of delays will depend on how well the Home Office can fill the staffing gaps.

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