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Anonymous29 Jun 2011
It’s good to give a heads up about this, but I don’t foresee it impacting things hugely.
For a start many airports have the IRIS or e-gates system installed, for those registered/eligible. These will be supervised by management.
So it’s not likely to have a huge impact on business travellers; more likely to impact leisure travellers, hard working families etc.
Additional people have been brought in from elsewhere to handle the reduction in manpower.
Many PCS (I think that’s the union involved?) employees will still turn up to work, recognising the futility of striking, and the benefits of supporting their employer through leaner times.
Either way, this demonstration of impotence will do nothing to further the appropriately remunerated Public Sector employees’ desire to live out retirement at the expense of private sector employees.
Change is needed and it can’t come soon enough!
Storm in a teacup.29 Jun 2011
CANT GET JOB ? no vacancy for stacking shelves at Tesco, collecting trolleys in the car park at B&Q, no chance of flipping burgers at McDonalds, then why not get a job as a customs officer where you can be as rude as you like to people and get paid for it.30 Jun 2011
I have no sympathy for this action. The liabilities of pension funds are outstripping their assets massively all over the world and people need to understand that they must agree to increased contributions and reduced benefits if the scheme is not to bankrupt the employer.30 Jun 2011
I never understand the surliness of our immigration staff.
Maybe by giving a cheerful “good morning, sir” puts the visitor at ease, making illegals harder to spot. Who knows?
…and the next person who tries and fails to pass through the IRIS gates saying “oh, do I need to register?” is likely to get a mouthful from me if I’m in the queue behind them!
Every blinkin’ time.30 Jun 2011
I came through Eurotunnel terminal in France yesterday in my car. No delays at all. The border officer I spoke with said only a tiny minority had gone on strike and that most staff saw the pension changes as “inevitable so why lose a day’s money”1 Jul 2011
I came through Gatwick North at 11.00 yesterday. Desks were staffed and almost no queues. IRIS is still operational there and I used it. I thought we came through the airport more quickly than usual. I suspect management grades were manning the service, as the junior staff were those more likely to be members of the striking TU the PCS.1 Jul 2011
Interesting comments as the tweets that I saw from Heathrow indicated that all was running smoothly but in the Torygraph(London Evening Standard) it advised there were queues of an hour to join a two hour queue for Immigration at LHR for non EU Passport Holders whilst the EU line was empty.
It also said that there was no fast track facilties open for Premium Passengers and that business travellers were having major strops at having to line up.
I wonder who is right.1 Jul 2011
I spoke to someone who came through LGW S about 4pm yesterday; they said it was busier than usual, though they had access to fast track so in fact were through in minutes.
I think even the worst of UK Border lines aren’t as bad as many country’s typical wait times – an hour isn’t uncommon at many airports outside the UK, and even with this action people were getting through faster than that.1 Jul 2011
The news that senior staff at the border agency have been suspended must surely be greeted with enormous concern by regular travellers. This summer has seen horrible queues at the major entry points with even EU passport holders having to endure waiting times of over 30 minutes mins regularly. Non EU passport holders have had even worse experiences.
Now we learn that this chaotic situation was actually much better than it could have been had the alleged instruction to limit checks not been given.
One can only be conned about what the queuing will be like in the months to come.
The home secretary, who never has to use the normal routes of entry and so does not see or experience this unacceptable situation is apparently furious that the checks were reduced. Pity she could not be furious on behalf of the travellers who have to endure this welcome to Britain……….but it will surely be the fault of others and probably trades unions.5 Nov 2011