Tens of thousands join British budget day strike
LONDON (AFP) - At least 95,000 civil servants went on strike in Britain on Wednesday, closing courts and museum galleries in a dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions timed to coincide with the government's annual budget.
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union claimed that almost 200,000 of its members joined the one-day walkout, although the government put the figure at 95,000.
Up to 200 people joined a rally outside parliament as Finance Minister George Osborne was delivering his 2013 budget, where he pushed ahead with his austerity programme despite stagnant growth.
Ahead of the strike, designed to kick-off a three-month programme of action, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka warned that the government's policy of cutting public spending was not working.