A leading trade unionist has refused to rule out strikes in the run-up to the London Olympic Games.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC said he could not comment on a "no strikes" deal to ensure all the facilities were ready for 2012. However, he said some sort of agreement would be desirable.

He said: "We certainly need a sensible and proper agreement and we need to have the right approach to planning."

Fears are growing that militant trade union leaders could derail plans for the Games. Bob Crow, general secretary of transport union RMT, has taken a robust stance in negotiations with London mayor Ken Livingstone over conditions and pay on the Tube.

The news also comes as civil engineers at Heathrow Terminal 5 are locked in a dispute with contractor Laing O'Rourke and client BAA. The project is consistently referred to as a model of modern procurement.

UCATT general secretary Alan Ritchie emphasised that T5 was still a good template for the Olympic Delivery Authority to follow and he urged the government to improve its skills training.