Thousands Protest Against Pension Cuts in Manchester

30 November 2011, 13:34

Thousands of public sector workers have gone on strike against cuts to their pensions. Everyone from binmen to teachers were involved.

Thousands of public sector workers have gone on strike against cuts to their pensions.  Everyone from binmen to teachers were involved. 

Marches took place in Manchester, Bolton and Oldham - with staff joining in the biggest day of industrial action in a generation.

Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that industrial action involving public sector workers across the country was ``looking like something of a damp squib''.

Unions have described the strike by up to two million public sector workers as ``historic'' after walkouts closed down schools, courts, museums and JobCentres and disrupted transport, hospitals and Government departments.

Immigration staff at Manchester Airport have also walked out - but bosses there say they're coping well and there've been no queues.

In Salford around 30 council binmen manned a picket line outside their depot, Turnpike House.
Standing around a burning brazier to keep warm, they held placards including one asking: ``Do we look Gold Plated?''
The workers, who said their average earnings were £17,000 a year, cheered as passing motorists blew their horns to show support.
Neil Clarke, a union organiser with Unite, said: "The Government is attacking our pension schemes - they are looking for public sector workers to contribute more, work longer and receive less in pension benefits. The average public sector pension comes in at #3,000 a year. Could you live on £3,000 a year? I have not met any public sector worker that doesn't support those in the private sector also getting an adequate pension.  Hardship in old age does not discriminate between categories of workers.  I don't think George Osborne could find Salford if you gave him a map. The poorest communities are getting poorer all the time.''

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