Across the UK today mass strikes are taking place over governmental plans to increase pension contributions and working time within the public sector. The strikes have caused major disruptions to the UK workforce and education system with over 62% of state schools closed.
Up to 2 million public sector workers are reported to be on strike, with strikes estimated to include around 170,000 workers in Wales and 300,000 workers in Scotland.
The last period of comparable widespread unrest in the UK took place over 30 years ago, in 1979, with over 1.5 million workers striking.
How the strikes are affecting Britain:
• Public sector workers on strike include: teachers, refuse collectors, civil servants, border agency staff, probation officers, job centre and passport office staff, librarians, midwives, social workers, radiographers and roadsweepers amongst others.
• 19,000 out of 21,700 Schools; across England and Wales were closed or partially closed.
• 6,000 'routine' operations were cancelled along with large numbers of appointments. Patients may have to wait up to 18 weeks for a new date.
• No buses or train services were operating within Northern Ireland.
At what cost?
London Ambulance Service told BBC London it was 'struggling' stating that people in a non-life threatening condition may not get an ambulance and that it had been difficult to respond to 999 calls.
At Prime Minister's questions in the House of Commons today, Prime Minister David Cameron called the strikes "irresponsible and damaging" and failed to recognise their impact across the UK, labeling them "a damp squib".
Two of the country's largest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick reported being largely unaffected by today's events, as the government had laid contingency plans in place.
The unions were reporting no signs of a resolution to the pension proposals as thousands of people rallied to join the strikers across the UK.
Image: xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net