Danish teachers locked out after failed negotiations

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Tens of thousands of Danish teachers are being locked out from schools after negotiations over weekly work hours with municipal authorities failed to produce an agreement.

The National Teachers Union says that 52,000 teachers were barred from entering schools on Tuesday morning, which in turn has prevented hundreds of thousands of pupils from attending school.

Thousands of teachers held impromptu protests throughout Denmark.

The union has refused to accept a new working agreement that is part of sweeping school reform programme. Municipal authorities are demanding longer school days, which teachers are resisting.

The central government could intervene and force teachers back into classes if the two sides are unable to reach an agreement.