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Union boss threatens Olympic disruption

The London Olympics are the Games that just keep giving. Stories to the media that is. The latest controversy concerns a union leader’s suggestion that public sector workers might consider the Olympics as the ideal time to schedule strike action against spending cuts and pension reform.

Len McLuskey, the leader of the Unite union saw the Olympics as the chance for high-profile action. "If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at," he told The Guardian. "The idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable."

The potential for disruption is considerable. Public sector workers include drivers and staff for the public transport system which will come under intense pressure during the Olympic period. Even a short strike action could be calamitous for the Olympics.

The deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was under the risible impression that Labour leader Ed Miliband had some influence. "I just think people will be gobsmacked, appalled, that someone thinks that, at a time when we are finally hosting one of the greatest events in the world, he is calling for civil disobedience," Clegg said. "I hope Ed Miliband will rein him in."

The International Olympic Committee does tend to frown on its hosts allowing any issues from the real world to interfere with an Olympiad. In Beijing, protests were stamped out ruthlessly. Whether the Metropolitan Police will be allowed similar powers to deal with protesters must be the subject of some concern.

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