Passport office staff will go on strike for five weeks as a bitter civil service dispute with the government over employment, pay, pensions, and working conditions shows no signs of ending.
More than 1,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) will strike at eight different locations as the long-running dispute escalates.
The strike starts today (Monday, April 3) and picket lines will be set up in front of buildings in Glasgow, Durham, Liverpool, Southport, Peterborough, London, Belfast, and Newport, Wales.
Read More: Passport Office staff to hold five weeks of strikes in row over pay and working conditions
The union says those who walk out will be backed by a strike fund.
In an effort to resolve the disagreement, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has written to the government requesting urgent talks.
He says ministers are treating union members differently than others in the public sector following negotiations with unions representing health workers and teachers, which resulted in improved wage offers.
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The PCS is ramping up its strike activity, with a nationwide walkout of more than 130,000 civil employees scheduled for April 28.
According to the Home Office, the Passport Office has already handled over 2.7 million applications this year.
It also stated that over 99.7 percent of standard applications are processed within 10 weeks, with the bulk of those delivered to customers much sooner.
There are currently no plans to alter official advice, which states that obtaining a passport can take up to ten weeks.
Source: Sky News
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