1. ITV Report

Union calls off Olympics strike

PCS unions cancels border strike ahead of Olympic Opening Ceremony Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has cancelled plans to strike tomorrow - the day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The union had announced its intention to strike last week, citing several issues including:

  • Plans to cut 8,500 jobs
  • The threat of compulsory redundancies in some passport offices
  • A 1% pay rise cap following a two-year wage freeze

Speaking when he announced the strike PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said:

The lives of staff have been made intolerable by these cuts and they're at breaking point.

Ministers have known about these issues for a very long time and need to act now to sort out the chaos they have caused.

However today Mr Serwotka said that due to talks in the last couple of days he was not calling for industrial action - although he stressed that the dispute was not entirely settled.

Mr Serwotka said that the advertising of 800 jobs in the border agency and the creation of 300 new jobs at the passport office were the main reasons for calling off the strike.

However the Immigration Minister Damian Green has called these numbers into question saying, "no concessions" were made to the union and that the 300 figure quoted by Mr Serwotka was in fact 319 job vacancies which had come up at the passport service as part of, "the normal replacement of jobs you get in all big organisations."

The union had been facing a High Court battle over the planned strike as the Government claimed that problems with the ballot made the strike illegal.

Mr Serwotka said that the union would have fought the legal challenge, which he said was over 12 members who lived in Paris and Brussels voting in the action in the strike ballot.