Hundreds of passport workers in the UK have gone on strike, citing staff numbers and pay as the cause of the dispute. The strike is taking place at all eight of the UK’s Passport Office sites – Belfast, Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Southport, London, Newport, and Peterborough.
It has been reported that the Passport Office has received an unprecedented number of passport applications so far this year. The Passport Office typically processes around 170,000 applications per week, but that number had been steadily increasing over the summer months. That, coupled with decreases in staffing over the past few years is said to have led to significant backlogs. Passport applications typically processed in 2 weeks were reportedly taking two months.
It has been reported that there are 360,000 passport applications in process currently, though it is unclear how many of the pending applications are overdue.