Heathrow urges use of e-gates amid latest Border Force strike

Heathrow has urged passengers to use self-service e-gates this weekend due to a Border Force strike at the end of the English half-term holidays.

The three-day walkout by more than 500 officers from today (Friday) follows action taken on April 29-May 2.

Further industrial action short of a strike by Border Force members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) at the London hub is planned between June 4-25 that will include a work to rule and overtime ban.

The latest action came as the TUC has launched a petition to tell senior managers at Heathrow that Border Force officers deserve a “fair roster”.

It highlights how “Border Force Officers at Heathrow are responsible for admitting travellers into the country, and for detecting and preventing possible security risks. 

“Their experience and expertise is vital to the security of our borders. In order to perform this vital role, Border Force Officers need a shift roster that gives them a healthy work/life balance, allows them to perform their duties to their full potential without being exhausted by long shifts, stops them worrying about finding short-notice childcare, or struggling to work around their medical needs.”

It asks that the senior management team “comes back to the table with PCS, and discusses workable and meaningful changes to the roster”.

Heathrow said: “Due to industrial action by Border Force officers from today (Friday) until Sunday, we ask that passengers use the self-service e-gates if eligible to reduce time at the border.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are aware of the planned strike activity at Heathrow this weekend. 

“Border Force have robust plans to minimise disruption and keep the border safe and secure.

“We recommend that passengers check the latest advice from their operators before travelling.”

The latest strike came as Heathrow reopened a fast track security service for departing passengers to purchase for £12.50 between June and September as the airport gears up to handle a record 30 million travellers this summer.

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