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SBD Global/July 23, 2012/Olympics

Union Leader Accuses Ministers Over Planned Heathrow Immigration Workers Strike

The union leader behind a planned 24-hour strike involving Heathrow immigration workers the day before the Olympic Games "has insisted the stoppage can be averted and accused ministers of whipping up hysteria about disruption ahead of the event," according to Brian Groom of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Public and Commercial Services union General Secretary Mark Serwotka told the Financial Times that any disruption next Thursday was "regrettable, but the reality is inconvenience, and disruption is an everyday fact of life at Heathrow." Home Secretary Theresa May has accused the union of attempting to "sabotage" the Games, even though barely one in 10 of eligible members voted in favor of the strike. Serwotka said the strike could be averted if 10 compulsory redundancies at the passport office in Newport, south Wales, were withdrawn and ministers agreed to "a process of meaningful dialogue of the issues of long-term resources across the Home Office, and the borders and the role of the private sector" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/20).
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