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Defend the working conditions of Heathrow passport controllers!

The Workers Party of Britain condemns the plan by Border Force bosses to withdraw the family-friendly rostering arrangements long enjoyed by passport control staff at Heathrow, and welcome PCS plans to open a strike ballot on 8 January.

Not to be outdone by Heathrow management’s ‘fire and rehire’ gangsterism against its workers, Border Force is now presenting its own passport staff with a fait accompli, tearing up long-standing agreements and imposing new team-working rosters as of 6 January. 

This drives a coach and horses through previous practice, which allowed workers to swap and request shifts. This flexibility gave some scope for workers to fit shifts around domestic obligations, especially important for those with care responsibilities or who are working around medical conditions of their own.

Imposing fixed rosters would be hugely disruptive and would amount to a serious worsening of conditions of work.

Border Force blames the pandemic for this precipitate move, citing the need to reduce contacts between workers, but workers know that management have been planning this for a long time and are just using covid as a convenient excuse.

If the bosses are so worried about health and safety, they ask, why did they ignore earlier union calls for screens, PPE, temperature checks and other measures to safeguard both workers and public? 

This is just one more cynical attempt to use the covid crisis to conceal an attack on workers’ conditions – part of a more general attack on the whole of the working class. 

The Workers Party of Britain supports the passport workers in their resistance to the arbitrary attack on their conditions of work.