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Biggest Strike in Decades in Britain Against Austerity

WASHINGTON - The New York Times reports today: “Britons Strike as Government Extends Austerity Measures.”

The British Independent is reporting “The biggest strike for over 30 years got under way today with schools, hospitals, courts, transport and government hit by a walkout involving up to two million workers.” See live coverage.

BRENDAN BARBER, interviews available via Liz Chinchen media at tuc.org.uk,
or Rob Holdsworth, rholdsworth at tuc.org.uk or Elly Gibson, egibson at tuc.org.uk
Barber is general secretary for the Trades Union Congress, which is organizing many of todays actions. He said today: “This is a government that scrapped the tax on bankers’ bonuses. Instead they are asking millions of public sector servants to pay higher contributions that won’t go into their pensions, but will go into paying off the deficit. They have scrapped the bankers’ bonus tax and replaced it with a teachers’, nurses’ and lollipop ladies’ [crossing guard] tax.” Chinchen, Holdsworth and Gibson are part of the TUC’s media team and can handle interview requests.

CHARLES IDELSON, cidelson at calnurses.org
Idelson is with National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of nurses in the U.S. — with 170,000 members. The group is having solidarity actions in five U.S. cities and has released a statement that reads in part: “The actions come amidst huge corporate cash reserves on both sides of the Atlantic while government officials in both nations push reductions in retirement security and other cuts. In the U.K., some 30 unions representing nurses, teachers, paramedics, civil servants, and other public workers will protest plans by the conservative government to cut public pensions. In the U.S., support rallies will also remind the public of threats to Social Security.”

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