May 8 2012
According to union leaders up to 400,000 workers, including civil servants, lecturers, health workers, Ministry of Defense staff, immigration officers, off-duty police officers and members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will be among those joining strikes and other forms of protest on Thursday.
The walkout follows last November’s huge stoppage by more than one and a half million workers in protest at planned changes to their pensions.
Most public-sector unions remain opposed to the reforms, which they warned would leave millions of workers having to pay more into their pensions, retire later and receive less when they stop work.
The dispute has raged for more than 18 months, with warnings of further strikes in June and through the summer.
“The coalition has reduced tax for super-earners while making cuts to vital public services like job centers, borders and tax collection. Public-sector workers have seen thousands of their colleagues sacked, their pay has been frozen for two years, and they are being told they must pay much more, and work for up to eight years longer for smaller pensions”, said Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union.
“That’s why hundreds of thousands of workers will be striking on Thursday in opposition to the government’s prescription of austerity and misery that has plunged the UK back into recession”, he added.
Job centers, airports, tax offices, colleges, driving test centers, museums and military sites will all be hit by this week’s strike.
Picket will be mounted outside government buildings, museums and galleries, while rallies will be held across the country, including Glasgow, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Off-duty rank-and-file police officers will also march through central London on Thursday, passing by the Home Office, in protest at proposed changes to their pay and conditions.