Travel misery is set to worsen next week as the Immigration Services Union has announced it will join next Thursday's public sector strike over pensions.
Criticisms over long delays at Heathrow airport have left government ministers promising to recruit extra staff to ensure a more efficient and speedy service. Hot on the heels of promises to recruit 80 new staff members, existing staff announced their intent to strike, guaranteeing further travel chaos and yet more lengthy delays at immigration.
The Immigration Service Union promised that strike action amongst its members at Heathrow "will have a significant impact" by disrupting travelers, according to the Telegraph.
The Guardian reported that Immigration Minister Damian Green said "This strike is completely unnecessary and we believe the public will find it unacceptable if unions push ahead. The security of the UK border is of the utmost importance and we will use tried and tested contingency plans to ensure we minimise any disruption caused by planned industrial action."
Unacceptable delays are not just limited to airline passengers. British border controls into the Eurotunnel from Calais, France, have resulted in queues of motorists stuck on French motorways approaching the Channel crossing.
Strike action resulting in further delays will raise a serious question over Britain's ability to cope with the massive influx of arrivals expected with the 2012 Olympics. The current contingency plan to deal with the surge in travelers is to rely on a volunteer staff which the U.K. Border Agency have expressed doubts about.