LONDON (AP) — Air travelers faced possible delays at U.K. airports Friday as government employees who check passports went on strike in the latest of a spate of walkouts over pay amid a cost-of-living crisis.
The strike by Border Force staff was due to continue through the end of the year, with the exception of next Tuesday.
Hundreds of thousands of passengers could be affected, though the British government said it was preparing military personnel and workers from other public services to help out at airports.
The strikes are putting pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government, which is refusing demands from public sector workers for substantial pay rises.
Inflation stood at 10.7% in November, driven by food and energy prices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Thousands of national health service nurses walked off the job Tuesday in their second 24-hour strike this month. Ambulance drivers, paramedics and dispatchers also went on strike earlier this week and plan another walkout on Dec. 28.
Postal deliveries, highway maintenance and driving tests are also being disrupted by strikes.
The labor unrest is set to continue into the new year, when more strikes are planned.
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