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Heathrow to be hit by 24 hour strike

3rd May 2012

Queues at Heathrow airport could get even worse next week if immigration workers carry out their threat to strike on Thursday.

The Immigration Services Union (ISU) is planning to join industrial action by public sector workers in protest over Government plans to increase the retirement age of arresting officers beyond 65.

The union represents 4,500 immigration staff, including hundreds at Heathrow and other UK ports and airports.

However, it is uncertain how many immigration staff will join the strike as fewer than a third of ISU members turned out to vote in the ballot and, of those who did vote, only 73% of members were in favour of industrial action.

The ISU said there was still time to avert the strike, providing the Government allows its members to retire at 65. “Members cannot work until their late sixties. Their jobs are too physically demanding,” it said. “Arresting offenders and working a shift pattern impact on their health.

“The ISU has only ever gone out on strike once in 30 years. We are a moderate, non-political union. We prefer dialogue to strike action, agreement to discord.”

Another union representing immigration staff is also planning industrial action. The Public and Commercial Services Union’s spokesman Richard Simcox said: “We will be striking and it will either cause more delays or lead to untrained staff waving people through without proper checks.”

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