Immigration officers called off a strike at airports planned for today following an interim agreement with their employer, the UK Border Agency.

However, a majority of officers have yet to reach a deal on implementation of the planned merger of customs and immigration services and the dispute could reignite as early as December without a lasting agreement.

The Public and Commercial Services union called off the strike by its 1,200 members in the Border Agency in return for a moratorium on changes in working until May 1 next year. But the moratorium is subject to a review in December.

The majority of officers are members of the Immigration Service Union, which is not party to the agreement and said it is seeking “more extensive guarantees”. The union has never been on strike, but reports support for a walk-out running at 77%.

A strike by Border Agency staff would threaten long queues for incoming passengers at major airports and tailbacks of vehicles at ports.