UK border guards call off pre-Olympics strike

UK officials downplay security issues
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Story highlights

  • The government says it didn't make any concessions and didn't advertise new jobs
  • Border staff members were planning to strike over jobs a day before the Olympics begin
  • The government is creating new jobs, the PCS union says

British border guards who had been planning to strike Thursday -- one day before the official start of the Olympic Games -- have called off plans to walk off the job, the PCS union announced Wednesday.

The announcement comes as more than 100,000 people a day are arriving at London's Heathrow Airport ahead of the Games.

The strike was canceled because the government is creating more than 1,000 new jobs in response to union demands, PCS officials said.

"This could have been sorted weeks ago. There was no need for this heavy-handed brinkmanship by the government," union official John McDonnell said in a statement.

The Home Office, which employs border staff, is already advertising 800 new jobs at airports and ports around the country, the union said.

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But a minister in the Home Office denied that.

"No concessions have been made by the government," Immigration Minister Damian Green said.

"We don't recognize the figure of 800 new jobs ... and no new jobs have been advertised since the union threatened to strike," he said.