UK immigration officials call off pre-Olympics strike

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UK immigration officers have called off their 24-hour strike planned for 26 July. Immigration staff had threatened to strike this week on the eve of the Olympic Games in a dispute over pay and job losses.

The strike would have included border staff who man passport and visa check desks at Heathrow airport and could have possibly created a massive delay as Olympic visitors come to London.

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), said that progress had been made in talks with ministers over looming job cuts. He said it was a promise of new investment and 1,100 new jobs, that was recently confirmed in talks this week that had persuaded them to call off the action.

"These new jobs are a welcome step towards a recognition that the Home Office has been cracking under the strain of massive job losses, and that the answer is not more cuts but more investment," Serwotka said. "We are pleased that with these new posts and the progress made in talks we are able to avert a strike ahead of the Olympics. But we first raised our concerns 18 months ago, so it is deeply regrettable that ministers allowed this dispute to escalate."

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