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Australia: Strike threat by Border Force and Immigration Dept Officials

Easter Holiday plans for hundreds of thousands of air passengers could be affected as Australian Border Force and other Immigration Department officials threaten to walk off the job at airports and freight terminals around the country on Easter Thursday.

The 24-hour strike, part of a continuing dispute over wages and conditions, will be preceded by strikes by public servants at the Tax Office, Medicare, Centrelink, the Child Support Agency and the Bureau of Meteorology.

Bureaucrats at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Bureau of Statistics are also planning to join in the 24-hour strike on Monday, March 21, in what will be the most comprehensive industrial action seen so far in the dispute.

The Community and Public Sector Union, representing the Border Force officials and other public servants, says the action could escalate further with a three week campaign of rolling airport strikes over the Easter school holidays being considered.

The strikes, and the early announcement nearly three weeks out from the planned actions, are designed to pressure Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to move to end the wage dispute between the government and much of its 152,000-strong public service.