UK Border Agency staff have called off a strike that would have seen potential disruption to Olympic travel plans.
Immigration and passport workers at Heathrow were among those planning to walk out in protest against job cuts. The Home Office initially sought a ban on the strike based on a procedural error in the ballot, but the disagreement now seems to have been resolved through negotiation.
It’s not just Border Agency staff with a carpe diem approach to industrial action — the RMT got in early with the threat of tube strikes unless staff were paid bonuses for working during the Olympics. Pretty soon, everyone was jumping on the bandwagon including TfL call centre workers, tube cleaners, bus drivers, East Midlands Trains drivers, Boris bike workers and probably butchers, bakers and candlestick makers for all we know.
Prime Minister David Cameron condemned border staff threatening to strike. Home office minister Lord Henley also called the move “opportunist and wholly unjustified,” while the minister for immigration Damian Green said:
“I call on the union to call off this irresponsible proposed strike. The security of the UK border is of the utmost importance and we will use our trained pool of contingency staff to ensure we minimise any disruption caused by planned union action. Any action that disrupts the Olympics will be completely unacceptable and the public will not support it.”
Photo by Edward Hoover in the Londonist Flickr pool.