Immigration and customs staff was to begin a strike prompted by their union on the eve of the London Olympics on Thursday. Yesterday, however, prior to the official beginning of the Olympics, the union chiefs called off the strike.
Humiliated, they admitted that their threats had prompted ‘abuse and vitriol’. Mark Serwotka, spokesperson and general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, added that he had ‘no regrets’ over his past actions.
The strike, which was planned to cause chaos at the start of the Olympic Games, did not push through after ministers revealed that a large number of people had volunteered to become man the borders to ensure that Heathrow would be prepared for its busiest day ever. The volunteers came forward after recruitment adverts were placed at Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton airports.
If the strike had pushed through, it would have led to disastrous queues at the airport immigration.
To save face, the union claimed that the home office had agreed to create 800 more border jobs and 300 more in passport offices. The home office, however, denied this. The government was due to take on the union in the High Court to stop the strike, which is no longer necessary after the plan to sabotage London 2012 backfired.
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