Up to 1,000 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union at South West Trains are to take industrial action during the Olympics in a row over a Games bonus payment.

Union members rejected going on strike last week but have voted for other forms of action starting from Friday – the day of the opening ceremony.

The industrial action – which is due to end on August 12, the last day of the Olympics – is expected to cause travel chaos as thousands of visitors flock to the Dorset coast.

The labour union RMT said staff from South West trains would refuse to work overtime throughout the Games, while staff at Serco, the company that runs the bicycles-for-hire known as “Boris Bikes” after the capital’s colourful Mayor Boris Johnson, would take similar action during the first weekend of the Games.

Also, border officials at British airports are threatening to strike on 26 July, the day before the London Olympics begin, possibly creating massive delay at major airports like London Heathrow.

On a normal July day, Heathrow, which already operates at close to its capacity, would expect to handle 190,000 passengers. On July 26 it is expected a new record could be set with 249,000 passengers.


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