Thousands of public-sector workers took Budget day strike action today calling on the TUC to lead the fight against austerity with co-ordinated action.
Hundreds of those striking workers and their supporters joined a rally outside Parliament and roundly booed Tory Chancellor George Osbourne as they watched him deliver another cuts Budget on a big screen.
The strike kicked off a rolling programme of action by PCS members which the union hopes will force the government to negotiate over pay, working conditions and pension provision, which are all being cut.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka told the rally that turnout for the strike was as high as 90 per cent in many work places.
Striking PCS members brought many of the government's own departments to a standstill, along with tax offices, job centres and border controls across Britain.
A stay-away by low-paid workers forced London's National Gallery to shut down for the day while many Westminster workers gave up a day's pay to take part in an impressive picket outside Parliament.
Picketer Erin Coyle, a young House of Lords chef, told the Star that "it's unfair that the lowest-paid people in Parliament are taking a pay cut while managers sit on over £100,000 a year."
They were joined on the picket lines by left Labour MPs such as John McDonnell, Dave Anderson, Katy Clarke and Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Serwotka also piled praise on Labour and Plaid Cymru politicians who once again refused to cross picket lines outside the Welsh Assembly and instead joined the worker's protests.
He described today's strike as a "brave stand" against a "pig-headed, stubborn Chancellor" who is "attacking people who did nothing to create the economic problems and can least afford the price you are asking them to pay."
He said nobody wanted to strike but warned "pay will go down again, terms and conditions will be slashed and pension contributions go up" unless workers take action.
And the PCS general secretary called on the leaders of other unions and the TUC to join his members in fighting austerity by calling strike action.
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