It is not the first time, nor will it be the last that the government, whether Tory or Labour, has used the military to break a strike.
1,200 members of the military and 1,000 civil servants are to be drafted in to cover for striking ambulance and Border Force staff over Christmas.
Sara Gorton, Unison’s head of health, warned, “The military’s no substitute for trained ambulance staff as the government knows. The hours spent on contingency planning could have been better used trying to prevent the strikes from taking place.”
Paul O’Connor, the PCS union’s head of bargaining, said the military have “better things to do” than passport control.
“They are not sufficiently trained to carry out this role and they shouldn’t be put in this invidious position when they should be enjoying the festive break with their families,” he said. “The same applies to civil servants who are being pulled in from elsewhere, also leaving their jobs uncovered.
“Instead of throwing good money after bad trying to desperately mask the effectiveness of our industrial action, the government should put a serious offer on the table to deal with the cost-of-living crisis that they have created for their own workforce."