Passport Office workers in Peterborough to strike for five weeks in pay dispute

Union boss warns action likely to lead to passport renewal delays for holiday makers
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Passport Office workers in Peterborough are to go on strike next month in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Staff at the new Passport Office, in East Station Road, Fletton Quays, will join about 1,000 colleagues across the country to take industrial action across five weeks beginning on April 3.

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The announcement by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU) has prompted warnings that the action will lead to a huge backlog of passport renewal applications from holiday makers.

Peterborough Passport Office at Fletton Quays.Peterborough Passport Office at Fletton Quays.
Peterborough Passport Office at Fletton Quays.

The PCSU says the strike action is an escalation of an ongoing dispute over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.

And union leaders warn that the dispute is ‘likely to have a significant impact on the delivery of passports as the summer approaches.’

It is estimated that more than one million passport renewal applications could be sent in during the five weeks of industrial action.

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Mark Serwotka, 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.

Peterborough Passport Office in Fletton QuaysPeterborough Passport Office in Fletton Quays
Peterborough Passport Office in Fletton Quays

“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.

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"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 is a national scandal and a stain on this government’s reputation that so many of its own workforce are living in poverty.”

As well as Peterborough, staff at passport offices in Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport and Southport will take part in the strike action.

The action comes in the wake of months of industrial action by a range of industries including rail, education, health and civil servants.

The Home Office has been contacted for a response.