Striking UK state workers challenge coalition

Striking UK state workers challenge coalition
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Opinions may vary over the strength of the strike but our correspondent in London says it is clear that those who took part are willing to take further action to achieve their goals.

“I’m here to defend public sector workers, their pensions which they work so hard for. But not just public sector workers also private workers as well. What this government is failing to tell the British public is that if the public sector pensions are affected and cut, employers will do the same to private sector workers. Everyone deserves a fair pension, everyone works for it. This government should realise that,” said one woman.

“This is the largest strike we’ve seen in this country for two decades. I’m hoping it will force the government back to the negotiating table. If they don’t there will be further industrial action and there’ll be further direct action,” another protestor said.

Others joined the demonstration in order to protect future generations.

“If we don’t defend the welfare state and our pensions now then for my children and children like them, there’s not going to be any pensions for the public sector or anybody else. So unless we stand now to do something about it, then there won’t be anything for their generation,” said one man.

Although the prime minister dismissed the protest as a “damp squib”, the government can do without the headache, coming a day after it announced a worse than expected economic forecast.

Our correspondent in London, Ali Sheikholeslami, said: “There are several things that keep British politicians up at night. Economic growth is anything but confident. The euro zone crisis is a serious threat and now with these demonstrations, it looks like the sleepless nights are not over.”

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