by Wes Lane November 30th, 2011
More than 2 million public sector workers are set to stage the largest strike for a generation on Wednesday.
Extensive disruptions at airports, schools, government agencies and ports are expected alongside more than 1,000 public employee demonstrations expected to take place throughout the United Kingdom today. The union-prompted action comes in response to recently proposed government initiatives that could make public workers pay higher portions of their pensions and work longer to receive it.
Paul Kenny, head of the GMB union, said that the pension measures were simply unaffordable and unjustifiable for “hard-pressed” public workers.
Meanwhile, Downing Street has called for more talks and said that the walkout would “achieve nothing”. Similarly, Francis Maude, the cabinet office minister, called the strikes “wrong” and “indefensible”. He said that public sector employees should consider the offer themselves rather than accepting the “rhetoric” of union heads.
And while Labour is not in favour of the strikes officials have said that the government needed to provide more for low-paid public employees.
Among the largest disruptions associated with the walkout are massive expected immigration queues at Heathrow airport, as Border Agency workers are among those taking part in the strikes. The BAA has warned that event with last minute contingency plans that wait times at the airport’s Border Zone could be in excess of three hours on Wednesday.