Passport Office workers to strike, which might muck up your holiday
As if getting yourself a passport wasn't enough of a pain.
Unions are walking out in a dispute over staff shortages which saw a huge backlog of processing applications. The Home Office are not pleased with the timing of the strike, pointing out that this will be a huge inconvenience to holidaymakers.
Seeing as the Public and Commercial Services (PSC) union want to draw attention to the shortages in staff and inequalities in pay, you have to assume that inconveniencing people is half the point of holding a strike now.
David Cameron, trying to spin gold from shit, has said that the surge in applications is down to the fact that the economy is picking up and HM Passport Office chief executive Paul Pugh said that around 775,000 applications were received in June, which could be "the highest ever recorded in a single month."
However, not helping is that the PCS union is saying that staff numbers are down by more than 300 in the past four years. General secretary Mark Serwotka said: 'The staffing crisis in the Passport Office has been obvious for everyone to see and it shouldn't have taken a committee of MPs to force the chief executive to meet us to discuss it."
"We are still a long way off getting a commitment from the agency that it will work with us to put the proper resources in place to ensure these backlogs do not reoccur year after year."
A Home Office spokesperson replied: "We are disappointed the PCS leadership has called this strike given that HMPO has been in discussions with the union on their issues of concern. Holding a strike at this stage is irresponsible and will only inconvenience our customers and jeopardise their holidays."
"We strongly urge PCS to reconsider this action which is not in the interests of staff or the general public they are dedicated to serving."
Customer service counters are open today, so if you need something urgently, you're advised to get your candy arse in gear right now, or else you might miss out on some sun.