LONDON – Around 1,000 British Border Force officers at English Channel ports will join a wave of industrial action and go on strike next month, unions said on Tuesday, in a move that will cause disruption for travellers during a busy holiday period.
Staff at Dover and French ports Dunkirk and Calais, including the Eurotunnel terminal in Coquelles, will strike for higher pay between Feb. 17-20, during the half term school break, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said.
“While the government brought untrained military personnel in to replace our highly skilled and experienced officers in airports over Christmas, they won’t be able to do that in France,” PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said.
“The blame for these strikes lies firmly at the feet of ministers who are refusing to put any money on the table.”
Hundreds of thousands of British public sector workers, from teachers and civil servants to train drivers and university lecturers as well as border staff, will strike on Wednesday in the largest coordinated action in a generation.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said excessive pay demands risk turning the recent surge in inflation above 10% into a longer-term problem for the economy.