PUBLISHED: 04:46 EST, 26 July 2012 | UPDATED: 04:46 EST, 26 July 2012
A strike by border staff that could have potentially crippled Heathrow airport on the day of the Olympics opening ceremony has been called off.
The climbdown came hours after ministers revealed that more than enough border staff had volunteered to work to ensure Heathrow, which is expecting its busiest ever day as thousands arrive for the Games, operated as normal.
Fury: Home Secretary Theresa May wrote an open letter to border staff urging them to defy the walkout and 'do what their country needs' before the deal was done
Militant union chiefs admitted their threat to the start of the Olympics had prompted ‘abuse and vitriol’.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, insisted he had ‘no regrets’ about plotting the strike, which had been planned to cause chaos on Britain’s borders today.
The Government could still take court action to stop immigration and customs staff from striking on Thursday
Mr Serwotka sought to save face by claiming the Home Office had agreed to create an extra 1,100 jobs, 800 at the UK Border Force and 300 at the Passport Office.
Home Secretary Theresa May wrote an open letter to border staff urging them to defy the walkout and 'do what their country needs' before the deal was done
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka claims his strike plans will not affect the Olympics
Damian Green, the immigration minister, said: ‘We are pleased that the PCS leadership has seen sense and called off this irresponsible strike which was not supported by the majority of members.
Preparations: The Government have a contingency plan should UK border staff stage a 24-hour walkout which will portray Britain in a poor light to the thousands of foreign visitors flocking into the UK for the games
‘During the past week, our staff have shown fantastic dedication and commitment during an extremely busy period.
‘Queues at Heathrow have been almost non-existent and athletes and visitors from around the world have received a welcome of which the country can be proud.’
Mr Serwotka admitted the strike had triggered a backlash, with critics warning it would bring shame on Britain with the eyes of the world on this country.
He said: ‘We have been subjected to the most extraordinary level of vitriol and abuse in the last week [since the strike date was announced]. The abuse directed at front-line public sector staff is completely and utterly unwarranted.’
A spokesman for airports operator BAA said: ‘So far passengers arriving for the Olympics have had a smooth journey through Heathrow and it is great news that those arriving tomorrow can also expect a warm welcome to London and the Games.’
Book your travel CALL 0808 230 1002
Headlines Newsview all
One of the richest towns in Britain also has the highest number of people having extramarital affairs, according to new research. Wealthy Maidenhead tops a new ... Full story
A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story
Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- 'Don't Have Any Parties': Last Words of Mother Days Before Her Son Threw a Massive Party and Drunken Facebook Crashers Trashed Her £1m House
- Woman Driver's Fury After Commons Speaker 'Clipped Her Car as He Parked Outside a London restaurant'
- Swarms of Massive Insects Kill More Than 40 and Injure 1,600 in China
Pictured: Skydiver, 49, who plunged to his death landing in a family's yard during an Easter egg hunt after his parachute failed
Arkady Shenker, 49, of Brooklyn, died after his parachute failed during a skydive on SundayShenker, an experienced skydiver, landed in the backyard of a New ...
Entire town duped by mother who raised thousands pretending to have cancer - and even conned her own mom
Mindy Taylor, 35, of Chillicothe, Ohio convinced her friends, neighbors, college buddies, co-workers and even her husband that she had cancerThe mother of a 7-year-old ...
You must be nuts! Parents' anger at Tesco for labelling too many products with 'may contain nuts' in over-cautious policy
Tesco labels 'butternut squash, potatoes, fruit juice' with warningIt has been accused of being over-cautious with the allergy policyOver 12,500 people have signed petition calling ...
By Daily Mail Repoter Published: 03:33 GMT, 22 April 2014 ...
Detroit men in court and ordered to trial for beating white motorist who accidentally hit black child
Four men have been ordered to stand trial on attempted murder chargesStephen Utash, 54, was attacked as he pulled over to check on a child ...
'I flew too close to the sun and spun out of control': Playboy fraudster jailed for stealing $20million from Hollywood A-listers reveals how his wild living and drug-fueled orgies inspired pal Leo's Wolf of Wall Street
Investment adviser Dana Giacchetto lived a life of celebrity excess in the late 1990s out of his Manhattan penthouseHe was best friends with Leonardo DiCaprio ...
Trainee lawyers will be there to 'hold the hands' of divorcing couplesHalf of couples divorce without lawyers as they're not eligible for legal aid Network ...
CEO of social network GitHub resigns after he and his wife are investigated for workplace harassment and bullying
Tim Preston-Werner resigned on Monday from GitHub, a programming network used to share software codesHe and his wife Theresa were under investigation for harassmentWhile internally ...
By Candace Sutton In Uluru Published: 02:58 GMT, 22 April 2014 ...
Bafta-winning actress Brenda Blethyn - whose parents were a chauffeur and a maid - criticises Downton Abbey for 'glamorising' life in domestic service
Star said she knew poverty of those 'below stairs' as a servants daughter She admitted that she loved the show but it had been a ...