Passengers ‘hurled’ through border control to ‘avoid queues’ due to workers’ strike | UK news | Daily News Byte

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Unsuspecting passengers who might otherwise be stopped at border control at the airport are “swapped” by military personnel standing in for striking workers.

Two Border Force staff members told Sky News that passengers were being waved off to avoid queues during the strike and that military personnel did not have the power to stop or detain people.

Members of the armed forces provide cover for public services during the winter strike.

A Border Force official at Manchester Airport said several members of staff had told him that passengers being questioned were usually “waved away to avoid queuing between strikes”.

They added: “The order is said to have come from the management of Manchester Airport. This will mean that people who are potentially entering the UK illegally/wanted by authorities or the police/on a watch list/previously refused entry are unchecked. are entering the UK without.”

About 1,000 Border Force staff in the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union are on strike over pay and conditions from December 23 until Boxing Day.

A Border Force staff member at Heathrow Airport told Sky News that the force at immigration control “cannot stop or detain people” because they cannot issue a form known as IS81.

This form gives immigration officials the power to detain people for further questioning.

People wait in the arrivals hall at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport

The staff member added: “Our job is to protect the population and the British people, to protect jobs, to protect people from harm.

“Basically most jobs can’t be done. I have information from multiple people. If you can’t issue an IS81, you can’t stop someone. All you can do is let them pass.

“Managers have abandoned the control that they are not going to stop unless there is direct evidence of criminality. People who come to work illegally, live illegally, study illegally – and that is not criminal, It’s an immigration issue. Unless you know that this person is hit on the computer system, the police want him, you’re not going to catch anybody.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “No one will be deterred as the government has taken a plaster of all over this problem.

“Before the strike began we warned that military personnel with five days of training would not be able to do the jobs of experienced, professional Border Force officers.”

A Home Office spokesman said it had “robust plans in place to minimize any delays, passengers should be prepared for disruption and take steps to plan ahead”.

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “To be perfectly clear, we are not involved in the immigration process as the airport operator… to our knowledge, the immigration process is running normally.”

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