By Karla Adam / Washington Post / June 30, 2011
LONDON– Airports, courts and more than 10,000 schools were among the services hit by a massive public-sector strike across Britain on Thursday as thousands of workers staged what they said was the biggest walkout in a generation.
Union organizers said that more than 750,000 public employees — including teachers, lecturers, court staff, passport officers and other civil servants — walked out during the one-day strike over proposed changes to their pension system.
The strikes are the first major uprising over the Conservative-led government’s ambitious plans to slash $128 billion in spending over the next four years. The rationale behind pension reforms, the government says, is the same for Britain’s austerity program as a whole: Current levels of spending are unsustainable.
But like public-sector employees across Europe, those striking in Britain argue it’s grossly unfair that millions of workers are being forced to carry the burden of reducing a deficit that ballooned following the financial crisis.
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