Most of Britain’s passport office workers will go on strike for five weeks starting next month in a pay dispute, potentially disrupting the delivery of passports ahead of the summer holiday period.
More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working across most of the UK’s passport offices including in London, Liverpool and Glasgow will walk out from April 3 to May 5, the union said in a statement today.
Passport officers in Belfast, Northern Ireland could also strike if they vote in favour of walking out in a ballot that closes later today.
Further down the road, looking ahead to the summer, if French air traffic controllers go on strike, as usual, flights from the UK to the Balearics will face serious disruption.
Indeed, the strikes reportedly led to 30% of flights being cancelled across the country when French ATC workers walked out from 6-9 March, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.
And while no dates are set for the summer as yet, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said in January that the French ATC strikes risked “shutting everybody down” if the dispute over pay and recruitment levels bleeds into summer.
His comments came as Europe’s air traffic manager, Eurocontrol, warned of potentially “huge challenges” to the commercial aviation network this summer. Citing “a backdrop of supply chain issues, possible industrial action, airspace unavailability, sector bottlenecks, rising demand and system changes”, it said: “2023 is set to be the most challenging year of the last decade. Keeping summer delays down will be an immense task.”
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Ulla JacksonYeh we at 55north normally get diverted west of portugal. I think it may be an interesting year. I worked in Linkoping Sweden during my miss spent youth. Good people.
David HollandThe problem is that the UK have great difficulties to avoid France, if at all possible. Visited Sweden and as the ATC in France was on strike the route was Germany, Austria and Italy to Mallorca.
Tear gas , water cannon and rubber bullets used on the protester in Paris this morning. After the shenanigans in the French parliament last night . I suspect the French ATC workers may be rather agitated and cause even more chaos than usual.