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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
Strike disruption hits Scotland
Pickets in Stirling (picture by Duncan Kirkhope)
More than 200,000 workers took part in the strike in Scotland
Scotland is experiencing massive disruption as public sector workers stage a national strike over pensions.

More than 200,000 staff did not turn up for work, closing schools and hitting transport.

Up to 1.5 million workers across the UK have walked out, which unions say could make it the biggest stoppage since the 1926 general strike.

Unions are angry at government plans to scrap a rule allowing some workers to retire on a full pension at 60.

The rule currently allows scheme members to retire without penalty from the age of 60 if their age and experience add up to at least 85.

With the changes, employees could instead have either to work until they were 65 or take one third less pension.

Although teaching unions are not involved in the strike, the absence of key support staff such as janitors, nursery nurses and catering staff has led to hundreds of schools being closed across Scotland.

Council building entrance (pic Duncan Kirkhope)

Glasgow City Council confirmed 353 of its primary schools and nurseries were closed.

Secondary schools in the city are to remain open as their cleaning staff are employed by Amey rather than the council.

All but two of Aberdeen City Council's 77 schools and nurseries are closed, as well as the city's day centres and housing offices.

A total of 63 educational establishments are shutting their doors in Dundee, along with a further 11 schools and nurseries in the Inverness and Highland Council region.

Edinburgh City Council said 21 primary schools and four secondaries were shut, with many more partially closed. Nurseries were also affected.

A picket line in Aberdeen
Services have been disrupted across the country

Transport in Glasgow has been hit, with the underground and Buchanan Street bus station both closed - although bus services will operate as normal.

Edinburgh's council-run bus service, Lothian Buses, is also off the road.

Motorists are able to cross both the Forth and Tay Road Bridges without having to pay tolls, although there is disruption to a number of ferry services across the country.

Finance Minister Tom McCabe said he would be monitoring the situation throughout the day.

Five unions in Scotland are taking part in the action - Unison, T&G, GMB, Amicus and the National Union of Journalists.

Protests will be held throughout the UK, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dumfries, Dundee and Glasgow.

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SEE ALSO:
Workers rally as services are hit
28 Mar 06 |  Scotland
North east hit as strike spreads
28 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Services in south face disruption
28 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Do you support public sector strikes?
27 Mar 06 |  Have Your Say
Strike appeal rejected by unions
23 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Walk out to hit schools and buses
23 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Minister's plea over strike plan
15 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Council staff back mass strikes
15 Mar 06 |  UK Politics


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