Britain’s passport office workers have revealed that they will go on strike for five weeks, starting next month.
According to report gathered, the reason for their strike is in a pay dispute, potentially disrupting the delivery of passports ahead of the summer holiday period.
FreshReporters gathered that More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union will take part in the walk-out starting from 3rd of April, 2023 to 5th of May, 2023 in a rapid escalation of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
It is feared the strike action will have a ‘significant impact’ on the delivery of passports, further straining a system already struggling with a COVID-19 backlog.
It was noted that it usually takes about 10 weeks to renew a passport, but in 2022, tens of thousands of people had to wait even longer due to the volume of applications after COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted. Fast-track services are available but they are much more expensive.
Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said, “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.
“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 two per cent imposed pay rise, and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern.
“They seem to think if they ignore our members, they’ll go away.
“But how can our members ignore the cost-of-living crisis when 40,000 civil servants are using foodbanks and 45,000 of them are claiming the benefits they administer themselves?
“It’s a national scandal and a stain on this Government’s reputation that so many of its own workforce are living in poverty.”
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