London, Dec 23 (EFE).- Border control agents became the latest sector to begin strike action over pay in the United Kingdom Friday.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak told reporters in London that he was “really sad” that the disruption would affect travelers in the lead up to Christmas but insisted the government had been “reasonable” in setting public sector pay.
UK Border Force workers have rejected a 2% pay rise offer, and are holding out for a 10% increase.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) called strike action from Friday until December 31 with the exception of December 27.
The industrial action is due to affect airports such as London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Glasgow and Cardiff as well as Newhaven port.
Soldiers and volunteers have been called in to carry out passport checks.
PCS secretary general warned Friday that the strike action could continue until May and broaden in the new year.
“Not only going to be six months, I think in January what you’ll see is a huge escalation of this action, in the civil service and across the rest of our economy, unless the government gets around the negotiating table,” he told BBC Radio 4.
Postal workers were also on strike Friday and Saturday.
The UK is currently experiencing waves of industrial action across a wide range of sectors from rail and ambulance drivers to teachers.
The nation’s inflation rate hit 10.7% in November as levels remain at a 40-year high. EFE