Passport Office as workers begin five-weeks of strike action
More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union working in the Passport Offices in Wales, England and Scotland have begun five-week strike action today.
This action comes after the PCS union failed to reach a settlement with the government regarding issues of pay, pensions, redundancy terms, and job security.
Members of the union who work in the Passport Offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough, and Southport are all involved in the strike action.
The PCS union has been in a long-running dispute with the government, and the decision to escalate their action could have a significant impact on the delivery of passports as the summer approaches.
PCS General SecretaryMark Serwotka said, “Their approach is further evidence they’re treating their own workforce worse than anyone else. They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute but for six months have refused to improve their 2% imposed pay rise and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern.”
Serwotka added that the government’s lack of action was unacceptable, stating, “It is a national scandal and a stain on this government’s reputation that so many of its own workforce are living in poverty.”
The strike action is expected to affect passport services across the UK, with the union urging the government to engage in meaningful talks to resolve the issue.
The Home Office confirmed that there has been an increase in applications but claimed that the amount was “close” to levels estimated.
Speaking to the BBC, the Home Office clarified that the number of passport applications remained close to forecasted volumes, and there are no plans to change the guidance, which states that it takes up to 10 weeks to get a passport.
The Home Office also expressed disappointment over the strike action but assured that it was “working to manage” the disruption and ensure continued service through “comprehensive contingency plans.”
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