Brits facing summer travel chaos with ‘delays to 1m passport applications’

Families have been left facing summer holiday chaos after Passport Office workers announced a five-week shutdown.

More than 1,000 employees are set to strike from April 3 to May 5, meaning some travellers applying now may not receive their passports until July.

Thousands of Brits have already waited months for their documents amid unprecedented processing delays.

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Because of the peak time of year, the strikes are likely to affect more than 1million applications.

It comes after nightmare scenes in Portugal today, with tourists left waiting in four-hour queues after passport workers called an unscheduled strike at Faro Airport.

Last night the Public and Commercial Services union warned Brits to expect a “significant impact” on Passport Office services.

One in four staff members is expected to join the walkout over jobs, pay and conditions.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka blamed the government’s refusal to increase an imposed 2% pay rise, despite inflation soaring to 10% over the last year.

He said: “Their approach is further evidence they’re treating their own workforce worse than anyone else.

“They’ve had six months to resolve this dispute but for six months have refused to improve their 2% imposed pay rise, and failed to address our members’ other issues of concern.”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “There are no current plans to change the guidance that people should allow up to 10 weeks to get a passport.

"The Home Office will work hard to manage the impact of this strike action.”

Union members across England, Scotland and Wales have already voted to join the action, while a separate ballot is planned for Northern Ireland.

It follows months of havoc at the crisis-hit Passport Office, which saw 409,000 people wait more than 10 weeks for their documents last year.

That shocking figure marks a 668% increase on the 61,000 recorded in 2021.


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