More than 1,000 passport office workers will go on strike for five weeks over a dispute about jobs, pay and working conditions, starting 3rd April, to 5th May, 2023, in the United Kingdom, potentially disrupting the delivery of passports ahead of the summer holiday period.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services, PCS, union on strike

The union said in a statement on Friday, 17th March, that more than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services, PCS union, working across UK’s passport offices including London, Liverpool and Glasgow will walk out in April.

They join workers in other sectors in Britain, who have staged strikes in recent months demanding higher pay to cover surging inflation.

Passport officers in Belfast, Northern Ireland could also strike if they vote in favour of walking out in a ballot that closes on Friday.

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”, PCS General Secretary, Mark Serwotka said.

The PCS union has demanded a 10% pay rise for civil servants as UK inflation is now running at just over 10%. Passport officers had previously rejected a 2% pay rise.

The government’s passport offices are the sole issuer of UK passports, issuing over 5 million of them each year, meaning any strike by officers working there will likely cause significant disruption to services.

Around 100,000 other civil servants, who work in government departments, staged a strike on Wednesday, 15th March, 2023, alongside thousands of other employees, including railway workers, doctors and teachers.

Story: Christy Dung