British public sector workers--estimates we've seen range from 100,000 to potentially 750,000--are on strike today. Teachers, civil servants, and unionized employees of all sorts staged a walkoff to protest the government's proposed cuts to their pension plans. And it looks like some of the agencies and government-staffed offices were shuttered for the day. As The New York Times reports:
[The government] has raised the working age and is now proposing that workers should pay a larger proportion of their salaries into their pension plans each month. The government has also proposed recalculating pensions so that they will be based not on a worker's final salary, but on a "career average" salary, taking into account the worker’s entire working life. Most workers can currently begin receiving their pensions at 60. One of the proposals being considered would see the age rise to 66 by 2020.
For their part, the unions, as relayed by The Wall Street Journal, are "already angry at having to endure a pay freeze and more than 300,000 job cuts, say the proposals are unfair and the government isn’t interested in compromise." Reuters wrote that the strikes "were expected to be generally peaceful." Here are a few of the marching scenes that caught our eye:
Images by Associated Press