Hundreds of thousands of British teachers and civil servants staged a day of strike action in what could be the opening exchanges in a prolonged dispute over planned pension reforms and austerity measures.
Close to half of schools in England and Wales were closed or disrupted. Air travellers faced delay as immigration officials joined the walkout.
Mark Serwotka is from the Public and Commercial Services Union:
“What is unfair is that the government is using public sector pensions as a new taxation. They have targeted the pension schemes and they are trying to raise revenue for deficit reduction”
The government claims the disruption was minimal and the majority of civil servants turned up for work. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“I think it is a real shame that there are strikes today because there are talks actually ongoing between the government and trade unions.”
Police say 32 people were arrested in London on public order offences.