About 3,000 striking council workers in Birmingham have held a rally in the city centre.
They gathered outside the Council House after their walkout led to the closure of more than 120 schools and dozens of libraries and leisure centres.
Staff at the city council are angry at plans to re-structure wages among some of the 55,000 employees.
More than 4,000 staff face a wage cut - with some claiming it could slash their pay by up to £18,000 a year.
The row flared up after council leaders proposed the new contracts, which are designed to deliver equal pay to men and women.
The rally, attended by thousands of workers carrying placards, took place at lunchtime after staff across the city had brought some services to a standstill with scores of picket lines outside schools, depots and offices.
Residential homes and care services have not been affected by the strike and teachers had not taken part in the stoppage , the council said.
Unison told workers they should be "very proud"
The authority, the biggest unitary authority in the UK, said it was legally obliged to review services and claims 45% of the workers will get a "considerable increase".
But the unions said some council workers could lose thousands of pounds under the plans and that there is a possibility of further strikes.
Tuesday's action began in the early hours, with more than 80 people on one picket line at a refuse depot in Kings Norton from about 0600 GMT.
As caretakers and teaching assistants did not turn up for work, schools failed to open, with more than 120 shut out of about 450 in the city.
More than 20 neighbourhood offices were closed, along with 20 libraries and 10 leisure centres.
Bin collections were also affected, although the council has asked people to still put rubbish out in the hope of clearing the backlog in the next couple of days.
However, last week refuse collectors and street cleaners agreed to a new deal which gave them extra wages in return for the scrapping of a bonus payments.
Caroline Johnson, assistant branch secretary for the Birmingham branch of Unison, was greeted with rapturous applause, when she announced at the city centre rally that action had forced the closures.
She said: "We should be very proud of our unity today. We can return to work tomorrow and stand tall and proud.
"If the council don't come back, we will be calling more action."
Pickets were being held at council premises across the city
The council's chief executive, Stephen Hughes, apologised for the inconvenience, but said the offer was "very generous" and described the strike as "entirely unnecessary".
He said: "Many of the issues they've raised we believe we can come to a resolution on.
"So we very much regret the fact they've decided to go ahead and take industrial action anyway.
"The agreement we came to (with) the refuse collectors and street cleaners last week was an indication of the way in which we're willing to be flexible.
"We are going to concentrate on ensuring that all essential services are maintained and do whatever we can to recover later in the week from any backlogs that occur."
Members of Unison, Unite, the GMB and the construction workers union Ucatt are taking part in the strike.
Joining the picket line outside the council's offices was cook Trevolin Newell, who has worked for the council for 19 years. She said: "I have always been angry about our wages because we have been at the bottom of the pile, but we have never gone this far before."