London 2012: Tomorrow's one-day strike by immigration staff called off

 

Tomorrow’s one-day strike by immigration staff on the eve of the Olympics has been called off following last-minute talks with the Home Office, the Public and Commercial Services union announced today.

The PCS walk-out threatened to hit border controls at Heathrow and other airports, with industrial action also planned at the Identity and Passport Service.

The timing of the strike had been condemned across the political spectrum, while the Home Office said it was planning to seek a High Court injunction to stop it going ahead.

The union had planned the action over moves to cut 8,500 jobs at the Home Office, including 1,000 from the border force.

It said it had suspended tomorrow’s walk-out because the department was creating 800 new jobs and 300 in passport offices, but stressed it was not abandoning the dispute altogether.

PCS leader Mark Serwotka said the new jobs proved the Government made huge mistakes in shedding thousands of jobs in recent years.

The move, announced to the union during talks at the Home Office yesterday, represented "major progress" in the dispute.

Recruitment adverts were placed on websites this morning for the new jobs in areas including Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports, said the union.

The PCS said its members had been subjected to "disgraceful" attacks from Government ministers since the announcement last week of the strike.

The Home Office said it was pleased the PCS had seen sense and looked forward to further talks with the union.

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