Thousands On Strike In East Midlands
30 November 2011, 11:08
Around 2 million workers have gone on strike today in what is the biggest walkout in more than 30 years.
120 thousand people have not turned up for work in the East Midlands because of an ongoing row over pensions. Capital caught up with one of the bigger unions taking part in this round of industrial action, UNISON, Helen Black is its Secretary for the East Midlands.
Schools are one of the most affected areas, with nine out of ten in the East Midlands shut. That's about 800 closed in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
The biggest problem with schools being shut is child care. Dom is a dad of two from Nottingham and says it's caused problems for him.
The Department of Health has told NHS trusts in England they must not release figures regarding staff on strike or the number of cancelled operations and appointments.
But Capital has found out, at Derby Hospital have had to cancel three trauma and orthopaedic operations and some outpatient appointments in physiotherapy, imaging and hands. Leicestershire admit some of their services will be under pressure as do Nottingham Hospital. All NHS's are adamant though that emergency care and cancer care will not be effected.
Daniel Mortimer is the spokesperson for Nottingham Hospital:
Nottinghamshire Police say the strike's had MINIMAL impact on them, with some control room and detention staff walking out - but they've hit 100 percent of all their 999 calls.
Leicestershire Police say some staff have chosen to take action but the force is working as normal, while Derbyshire say staffing levels are the same as normal.
East Midlands Airport have told Capital they haven't had and aren't expecting any problems, this is the latest statement from the UK Border Agency.
"The security of the UK border remains our top priority and we are working hard to manage any disruption throughout the day.
"Early signs show our contingency plans are minimising the impact of strike action, but waiting times at some ports may still be slightly longer than normal."
At lunchtime today thousands of people took to the streets of Nottingham for a regional march. Traffic came to a standstill on Maid Marrian Way for at least 45 minutes as the march which started at Forest Recreation Ground and ended up in the city centre.
What the government say:
The Prime Minister said today's strike will damage the economy, and that today's action will achieve nothing.
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has repeated his refusal to condemn strike action by up to two million public sector workers tomorrow despite describing their action as causing ``terrible'' disruption.
The Labour leader said he ``hated'' the effects of the strike, including closed schools and cancelled operations, but would not condemn the action.