February 2, 2023

Hundreds of thousands of air passengers are facing possible delays today as border guards are the last to go on strike.

More than 1,000 employees will leave, affecting passport control desks at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow airports, as well as the Port of Newhaven in East Sussex.

The strike will last until early Boxing Day, followed by another round from December 28 until early New Year’s Eve.

More than 10,000 flights are scheduled to land at those airports during that time, and more than 250,000 passengers arriving Friday have been warned to expect delays.

The airports said most departing flights would not be affected, although some arriving passengers – especially those unable to use eGates – could experience delays.

Royal Mail employees will also strike today – their fifth day of action this month, in what Royal Mail said was a “cynical attempt to hold Christmas to ransom”.

The company has estimated that the strike, which will continue on Christmas Eve, has already cost it £100 million.

National Highways workers in London and the South East will continue their four-day strike, which began on Thursday.

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The worker – who plans, designs, builds, manages and maintains the roads – follows the action of colleagues in Yorkshire and the Humber, North West and North East England.

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‘Government refuses to talk to us’

Rail workers represented by the RMT union will be on strike from 6pm Saturday to 6am Tuesday 27th December, while East Midlands Railway will be hit by a Unite union strike on 23rd and 24th December.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency staff will strike today and tomorrow in the North West of England, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber, with further strikes expected in other regions in the coming weeks.

Hundreds of bus drivers in south and west London employed by Abellio will strike tomorrow, December 27 and 31, before a further eight days in January in their wage dispute.

They have already taken action for 10 days in the past two months.

Earlier this week, NHS staff went on strike, with nurses walking out on Tuesday and paramedics following them on Wednesday.

Pat Cullen, head of the Royal College of Nursing, said on Thursday that if she didn’t hear from Health Secretary Steve Barclay by the end of the day, she would announce further strike dates in January.

“The public is clear – as I am – that in order to prevent further strike action, the government needs to stop lashing out and repeating the same tired lines and start having meaningful negotiations with me,” she said.

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The government has refused to negotiate pay and insists it accepts recommendations from independent pay review bodies.

Ambulance workers, represented by Unison, have already announced new strikes, with workers in London, Yorkshire, the North West, the North East and the South West end on January 11 and January 23.

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Health secretary criticizes timing of ambulance strike

Some 25,000 ambulance workers from Unison, Unite and the GMB unions walked in coordinated strike action on 21 December – their biggest strike in 30 years.

Members of the GMB union of nine ambulance trusts are also preparing for a strike on December 28, while 1,000 Welsh Ambulance Service union members will announce strike dates in the new year.

Christina McAnea, Unison general secretary, said: “Only through talks will this dispute be ended.”

NHS trust leaders have warned Christmas could be one of the toughest the health service has ever seen, with strikes threatening to exacerbate an “already very challenging situation”.

Last week, one in four ambulance patients in England waited more than an hour to be transferred to hospital A&E teams, the latest figures show.

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