Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Border staff strike cancelled
A planned strike by Home Office staff including immigration officers in a row over jobs and pay has been called off after progress in peace talks.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union were due to stage a 24-hour walkout on Thursday, the eve of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
The Government had announced legal action to try to prevent the strike going ahead.
The union said 800 new jobs will be created in the Border Agency and 300 in passport offices, describing it as enough progress to suspend the strike.
PCS leader Mark Serwotka said the new jobs proved the Government made huge mistakes in shedding thousands of jobs in recent years.
The move, announced to the union during talks at the Home Office on Tuesday, represented "major progress" in the dispute.
Recruitment adverts were placed on websites for the new jobs in areas including Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports, said the union.
The PCS said its members had been subjected to "disgraceful" attacks from Government ministers since the announcement last week of the strike.
The union said the Government's legal challenge was based on a claim that 12 staff in Paris and Brussels were being involved in the dispute when they were not covered by the issues.
Serwotka said the dispute had not been resolved and there were a number of outstanding issues, including pay and compulsory redundancies. He said there would now be "significant" investment in 1,100 permanent new jobs, and criticised the Government for not announcing the good news.