More than 1,200 immigration officers in the PCS union are set to strike on Friday of this week over job content, working practices and shift patterns.
Union members at the UK Border Agency (UKBA) voted by 78 percent for action over the issues.
Management wants to force the officers to undertake duties and work performed by customs officers, as well as imposing changes to shift patterns which could see their wages cut.
This means that officers would have to carry out strip searches and law enforcement duties, as the agency seeks to merge the jobs of customs officers and immigration officers.
Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said: “Immigration officers are angry at being forced to do a job that they weren’t recruited to do.
“We are not against change, but there needs to be a recognition that immigration and customs officers have separate specialist roles and duties.
“Immigration officers want to be able to choose whether they undertake duties and work performed by customs officers and not have shift patterns imposed upon them that could see their wages cut and their work-life balance affected.”
Talks were continuing between management and the union as Socialist Worker went to press. Any strike will hit ports and airports.