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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Border Agency strike on eve of Games called off

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Industrial action by Border Agency staff has been called off at the eleventh hour following union claims that the Home Office now intends to create 1,100 new jobs.

The move came only an hour before the government was due to launch a high court challenge against a planned one-day strike by members of the Public and Commercial Services union tomorrow.
 
Its aim was to seek an injunction based on what it claimed was a “procedural error” in the union’s ballot of its members, which included staff working at immigration control, the passport service and the Criminal Records Bureau.
 
The walk-out would have taken place on the eve of Friday’s Olympics opening ceremony, which is expected to be Heathrow airport’s busiest ever as thousands of spectators arrive to see the Games.
 
But a work-to-rule campaign during the Olympics has also been called off after PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, announced this morning that “major progress” had been made in the dispute.
 
He said that 800 new jobs were to be created at the Border Agency as well as 300 in passport offices and recruitment adverts were being placed this morning at sites such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports.
 
But immigration minister Damian Green, said that he failed to recognise the figures being put forward by the union. For example, the passport office had 300 current vacancies already, which the PCS had been told were being filled, he added.
 
“So it’s pretty clear that the union leadership needed some kind of fig leaf for their climbdown, and that’s what they’ve done. And I’m glad they’ve done it,” Green said.
Author Profile Picture
Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett
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