Update: U.K. Border Strike Called Off

August 4, 2009
Southampton Update, 9:30 a.m. EDT: Good news for travellers! An agreement has been reached between the union and the U.K. Border Agency. The planned strike has been called off and it will be business as usual in the airports and ports.

(July 31) -- A two-day strike by unionized immigration officials working for the U.K. Border Agency is still on, and will begin on 5 August, as previously reported. However, officials maintain that it will cause little to no disruption for cruise holidaymakers flying into or sailing out of the U.K.

A spokesperson for U.K. Border Control, which is responsible for immigration and security at cruise ports and airports, says, "Talks will be ongoing until the day of the strike ... and we do not envisage any significant impact at border control. Travellers should not experience delays and security will be maintained.

"This action will only involve a minority of our staff. We are therefore confident that normal service will be maintained."

A spokesperson for the union in question -- Public and Commercial Services (PCS), members of which are employed at the ports of Dover and Southampton, as well as area airports -- confirms that discussions are still ongoing and tells us more information should be available Monday.

The port of Southampton did not have additional comment and referred Cruise Critic to U.K. Border Control for information. The port of Dover did not respond by press time.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor, with reporting by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor