London’s Heathrow Airport may be hit by a strike next Thursday 10th May if immigration workers belonging to the Immigration Services Union (ISU) join industrial action by public sector employees in protest over Government plans to up the retirement age for arresting officers beyond 65.
The union represents 4,500 immigration staff, including hundreds at Heathrow and other main UK ports and airports including Gatwick.
ISU said, "The ISU has only ever gone out on strike once in 30 years. We are a moderate, non-political union. We prefer dialogue to strike action, agreement to discord."
The Public and Commercial Services Union is also planning strike action. Its spokesman Richard Simcox said: "We will be striking and it will either cause more delays or lead to untrained staff waving people through without proper checks."
The union represents 13,000 Border Agency staff, 1,000 of which are at Heathrow.
The Government recently axed 800 frontline border control jobs as part of spending cuts and a further 700 look likely to lose their jobs in 2014-15.
Heathrow’s long immigration delays have been in the news recently. Extra staff are being taken on at Heathrow (from Manchester airport) as part of emergency measures to tackle queues at the UK’s largest international airport If the strike goes ahead it could worsen the queues at Heathrow, where delays of up to three hours and long immigration lines were reported last week