UK

UK Border Agency and Home Office strike called off

UK border agency officer
Image caption Around 12,000 union members were due to walk out of border-control posts on Monday

A planned strike by staff at the Home Office and UK Border Agency has been called off after a legal challenge by the government.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union were due to walk out for 24 hours on Monday in a dispute over pay, pensions, terms and conditions.

A PCS spokesman said the government challenged the strike because less than seven days' notice was given.

And he warned that the government's approach would "escalate matters".

Around 12,000 of the union's members in the Home Office and Border Agency were scheduled to have gone on strike, which would have led to delays at airports and ports.

Pay dock warning

Monday's walkout was due to be the latest in a three-month programme of industrial action and protests which started with a strike on the day of the budget.

A half-day strike by most of the rest of the Civil Service will go ahead on Friday and by 55,000 PCS members in HM Revenue and Customs on Monday.

The strike by the union members at the Home Office and UK Border Agency had already been rescheduled from Friday to Monday after they had been told they would be docked a full day's pay for a half-day strike.

A PCS spokesman said: "We only changed the date because the Home Office disgracefully said they would dock a full day's pay for a half-day strike.

"This challenge using anti-trade union laws is just the latest tactic by a department that continues to victimise and bully our union representatives and will do nothing to solve the long-running issues of imposed cuts to pay, pensions and conditions.

"Our officials and reps are now discussing new dates for strikes in the Home Office and Border Agency so the department's belligerent approach will only serve to escalate matters."

A Home Office spokesperson said: "We are pleased that the PCS has called off the planned strike across parts of the Home Office.

"We would still urge them to reconsider the proposed half-day strike [by civil servants in the Identity and Passport Service] tomorrow.

"Nevertheless, we have robust contingency plans in place to ensure any industrial action has minimal impact on operations."

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