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France-UK ferry travellers told to expect disruption later this month

A UK Border Force union has called for four days of strikes from February 17-20, and warned that it will ‘have consequences’ for people travelling on those days

UK Border Force staff have called for a strike that will affect the ports of Dover, Calais, Dunkirk, and Coquelles Pic: Gary Perkin / Shutterstock

Ferry passengers travelling across the Channel between France and England have been warned to expect disruption in late February as UK border staff announce four more days of strike action.

The strikes have been called for February 17-20 inclusive. British Border Force staff on both sides of the Channel are included in the call to action.

The movement will affect Calais, Coquelles, Dunkirk and Dover. More than 1,000 staff are expected to walk out.

The dates coincide with the end of half-term school dates in the UK.

Read also: Longer waiting times expected due to new EU border checks

It comes after passengers were warned to expect disruption today and tomorrow (February 1-2) until 07:00 (08:00 French time) via UK entry points on DFDS ferries.

Secretary general of the PCS union, Mark Serwotka, said in a press release: “The strikes announced today within the Border Force will have consequences for people who are returning from holiday.

“The government called for untrained military staff to replace our highly-qualified agency personnel over Christmas [during similar action], but they won’t be able to do that in France.

“The responsibility for these strikes is squarely at the feet of ministers who are refusing to put more money on the table.” 

In December 2022, around 1,200 military personnel in the UK were called upon to replace striking ambulance and border force workers.

It comes after workers across the UK are again striking today (Wednesday, February 1), in one of the country’s largest strikes in decades. Teachers, railway staff, and public servants are among the estimated 500,000 walking out to call for rising salaries amid the cost of living crisis.

Ferry operator DFDS has warned passengers to expect possible disruption today and tomorrow, but has not yet published an update or warning about the strike plans for later in the month.

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