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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Thousands joined pension strike
Rubbish bin (generic)
Bin collections were among the services hit by the strike
Thousands of local government workers throughout Yorkshire and the Humber stopped work to join a national strike against changes to their pension.

Union members staged public protests in towns across the region over government plans to scrap a rule that allows some to retire on a full pension at 60.

More than 250 schools closed due to the walkout and for many of those that did open there were no school meals.

Day care centres, bin collections and council offices were also affected.

Councils said they had done their best to minimise disruption and had contingency plans in place to ensure provision of vital social services.

Pension demands

But most libraries and advice or resource centres, including some swimming pools, did not open.

Bins in several places were not emptied and holiday makers faced disruption as the runway at Leeds Bradford airport shut down for two hours.

Nationally, the unions claimed more than one million workers took part in the strike but the Local Government Association (LGA) estimated the figure was nearer 400,000.

The LGA claims meeting the pension demands of the unions would add at least 2% a year to every council taxpayers bill.

But Unison's head of negotiations in Yorkshire and Humberside, Alan Hughes, described the day of action as an "overwhelming success".

"This will send a clear message to John Prescott that our members are willing to battle to protect their pensions."


SEE ALSO:
School open for lessons on unions
28 Mar 06 |  Bradford
Q&A: Local government pensions
27 Mar 06 |  Business
Pupil wants school to stay open
24 Mar 06 |  Humber


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