A planned strike by immigration staff at Heathrow airport on the eve of the London Olympics has been called off following an agreement hours before the government planned to challenge its legality in court.

The 24-hour strike over a dispute about wages and redundancies was scheduled to begin on Thursday— a day before the start of the London Games — and had raised fears of widespread disruption.

The government had described it as a move to “sabotage” the Olympics.

Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which had called the strike, said that although the dispute had not been fully resolved, “real progress” had been made in talks with the Home Office over the Union’s concerns.

The union said its members were subjected to “disgraceful” attacks by ministers.

A spokesman of BAA, which operates Heathrow airport, welcomed the decision.

“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,” he said.

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