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Border staff industrial action threatens London Olympics


United Kingdom

Border staff industrial action threatens London Olympics

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron says a strike by border staff would be unjustified, after a union representing half of them voted to take industrial action during the Olympic Games.

A row over pay and job cuts, led the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) to balloting its members.

“Seven out of eight PCS members haven’t voted for a strike. It would be appalling to go on strike to disrupt the Olympics on the basis of that kind of turnout,” said Immigration Minsiter Damian Green.

Turnout for the vote was 20 percent. The majority of those who took part backed industrial action short of a strike, such as refusing to work overtime.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka defended the threat of disruption, saying government cuts were leaving Home Office services – such as border control – seriously understaffed.

Heathrow is expecting 120,000 arrivals every day next week.

The union could choose to take industrial action during the most busy times, but must give seven days’ notice before carrying out a strike.

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