Public-sector workers warned the government today to "rethink now" as polls revealed more than three-quarters of British people believe its pensions grab is unfair.
Despite their mauling at last week's local elections, ministers remain determined to ram "reforms," meaning higher contributions, a longer working life and smaller pensions for public servants even as workers prepare for industrial action on the issue this Thursday.
But a YouGov survey released today emphasised the government's isolation, with 77 per cent believing that making British workers work longer than their European counterparts to receive a state pension wasn't fair - a view shared even by 69 per cent of Conservative voters.
Thursday's action is likely to see around 400,000 staff on the picket lines as Unite health workers walk out alongside members of Civil Service union PCS, teaching union NUT and transport union RMT's Royal Fleet Auxiliary staff.
They will be joined by off-duty police officers who will take to the streets to protest at 20 per cent budget cuts to the force.
The Police Federation said its protest would show "the unprecedented attack on policing by this government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety."
The pensions dispute has raged for 18 months and some unions have accepted the changes in principle - but most are standing firm and warn of further strikes in June and throughout the summer.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Making people work until they drop is another hijacking of our living standards and shows no care for the lives of ordinary people.
"This is unpopular, impractical and will strain our society."
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka added: "Public-sector workers have seen thousands of their colleagues sacked, their pay has been frozen for two years and they are being told they must pay much more and work up to eight years longer for smaller pensions.
"That's why hundreds of thousands of workers will be striking on Thursday in opposition to the government's prescription of austerity and misery that has plunged the UK back into recession.
"Job centres, airports, tax offices, colleges, driving-test centres, museums and military sites will all be hit by this week's strike."
And NUT leader Christine Blower said: "This government is determined to strip workers of the right to a retirement that is dignified."
Young PCS lay activist Helen Flanagan, a member of her union's Department for Work and Pensions executive, told the Star: "Young people are having their uni places cut and fees raised and unemployment is going up.
"We believe there is an appetite to take on the government particularly as we have seen them suffer at recent local elections."
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