UK Immigration staff covering vital border posts at London’s Heathrow airport called off their threatened a 24-hour eve of Olympic Games strike.
The industrial action was cancelled on Wednesday hours before the government was due to apply for a High Court injunction against them.
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union PCS.L, told reporters progress had been made in talks with ministers over looming job cuts.
The planned strike on Thursday, the day before the opening of the Games, had been roundly condemned by the government.
“People have their grievances but surely the day before the opening ceremony of the Olympics is not the day to do it,” sports minister Jeremy Hunt told BBC radio.
Home Office lawyers were due in court at midday to seek an order stopping the action on the grounds the strike ballot of PCS members might not have been conducted properly.
“We believe that significant progress means that there is now no case for the union to proceed with industrial action tomorrow in terms of the one-day strike that was planned,” Serwotka said.
Serwotka said it was a promise of new investment and 1,100 new jobs, confirmed in talks barely 24 hours before the strike, that had persuaded them to call off the action.
He admitted there had been a public backlash against the strike plan on the eve of the Games, something he blamed on “scandalous” comments from ministers and Conservative lawmakers.
The industrial action would have caused misery to 130,000 passengers and UK tourists arriving the day before the Olympic opening ceremony in one of the busiests airports in the world. Last week the UK immigration system was thrown into chaos after senior judges said Home Office rules to curb the number of migrants were unlawful and not based on the Immigration Rules.
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