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Pre-Olympics strike averted

2012-07-25 17:55
Olympic flag (File)
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The London Eye, that city's famous Ferris wheel, will become a giant mood ring, projecting England's Twitter-based emotions about the London Olympics.

London - British border officials have called off a strike planned for the day before the London Olympics officially open, their union said on Wednesday.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said it had reached an agreement with the home office interior ministry on a dispute over jobs.

The British government had been due to go to court later on Wednesday to prevent the strike going ahead.

The union announced one week ago that thousands of home office staff, including immigration workers at London's Heathrow Airport, the main gateway to the Games, would stage a 24-hour strike on Thursday.

The Olympics opening ceremony takes place on Friday.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka told a press conference that 800 new jobs would be created in the border force and 300 in passport offices.

"We believe that significant progress means that there is now no case for the union to proceed with industrial action in terms of the one-day strike that was planned," he said.

Olympics minister Jeremy Hunt had earlier on Wednesday said the government had contingency plans in place and said that fears of problems at the airport after queues at immigration earlier in the year were the "dog that didn't bark".

But he urged the border officers to come to work, saying: "For an immigration officer... Thursday is one of the biggest days in their professional career."

Read more on:    olympics 2012
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