A GOVERNMENT minister met union bosses in Liverpool ahead of a threatened strike in support of a colleague who was dismissed.
Tory immigration minister Mark Harper MP said a ballot of more than 1,000 workers at the UK Border Agency was “regrettable” and urged staff not to vote for a walk out.
The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said Kevin Smith, 26, from Wallasey, was sacked in October last year as a result of his activities as a union representative.
But Mr Harper told the ECHO: “All the strike will do is damage the service that we offer to the public.
“I would urge them not to have a ballot and I would urge staff not to vote for it.”
Mr Smith was dismissed from his job at the UK Border Agency office in the Capitol Building in Liverpool’s Old Hall Street.
The PCS said union representatives across the country have been picked on as part of a “witch hunt”.
Martin Kelsey, branch secretary at Liverpool’s UK Border Agency office, said: “The way the whole thing has been handled is little more than a witch hunt against a young, inexperienced union rep. We believe that human resources have colluded with the management in a bid to get a young man dismissed.”