Business Maverick

Business Maverick

UK passport renewals face five weeks of strikes ahead of summer

UK passport renewals face five weeks of strikes ahead of summer
A man waits outside the passport office collections office on June 12, 2014 in London. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Britons hoping to renew their passports face the prospect of lengthy delays, with workers planning to walk out for five weeks ahead of the summer travel season.

More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union will strike from April 3 in opposition to a proposed 2% pay rise, in what the union is calling a “significant escalation”. All passport offices in the UK including London will be disrupted, except the Belfast office which is awaiting the results of a ballot. 

Almost 1 million people applied for passports during the same period in 2022, and a long strike could create a large backlog, potentially affecting trips booked over the summer months.

Around 133,000 civil servants were on strike on Tuesday, the day of Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt’s annual budget. On Thursday, the government offered a 5% pay rise to nurses, midwives and ambulance workers in England for the next financial year, in a bid to end months of strikes. Hunt said that the offer would not fuel inflation.

“This escalation of our action has come about because, in sharp contrast with other parts of the public sector, ministers have failed to hold any meaningful talks with us, despite two massive strikes and sustained, targeted action lasting six months,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said.

The UK’s biggest airport also faces the prospect of strike action over Easter. A ballot of over 3,000 security guards, engineers and firefighters will close later today, according to union Unite. The union said many members are unable to make ends meet.

Strike action “will inevitably cause severe disruption throughout Heathrow with delays, disruption and cancellations of flights inevitable.” Unite regional coordinating officer Wayne King said. BM/DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.