UK Border Agency Calls Off Strike

Good news for UK-bound travelers: The Guardian and other sources are reporting that a strike by Border Agency staff on the eve of the Olympics has been called off, sparing likely disruption at Heathrow airport and travel hubs around the UK on Thursday, after the Public and Commercial Services union shelved walkouts.

Home Office members of the UK's largest civil services union were preparing to stage a one-day strike the day before Friday's opening ceremony, hitting services at immigration control as well as the passport service and the Criminal Records Bureau.

Speaking one hour before the government was due to launch a high court challenge against the looming strike, the PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said a Home Office decision to hire 1,100 staff—including 800 border employees—had convinced the union to cancel its plans. "We believe that significant progress means that there is no case for the union to proceed with industrial action tomorrow," he said.

A spokeswoman for airports operator BAA said, "We welcome the decision by the PCS to call off tomorrow's strike...So far, passengers arriving for the Olympics have had a smooth journey through Heathrow and it is great news that those arriving tomorrow can also expect a warm welcome to London and the Games."


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