Immigration workers have threatened to stage a one-day strike next week which would cause huge disruption at UK airports including Heathrow, which has already been hit by massive delays at border control.
The Immigration Services Union (ISU) is disputing Government plans to increase the retirement age for public servants beyond 65.
The union which represents 4,500 Border Agency staff, has threatened that its members will walk on Thursday, May 10 at airports across the UK and abroad. This would be the second time it has gone on strike in 30 years.
Andy Friend, national chairman of ISU commented: “How can staff be expected to pursue, arrest and detain a criminal at the border in their late sixties? I urge the Cabinet Office to come back to the negotiating table and reach agreement on a retirement age of 65 for our members.”
The ISU, which calls itself ‘a moderate, non-political union’ said the strike could be avoided if the Government allows its members to retire at 65.
The Government is already tackling complaints about long queues at passport control Heathrow and announced plans to draft in 80 extra staff.
Immigration minister Damian Green said the extra staff would start work this month and admitted things needed to change.