1 Dec 2011

Up to two million Britons walk off the job

6:42 am on 1 December 2011

Britain is experiencing its biggest public sector strike in decades, as up to two million workers fight proposed changes to their pensions.

Teachers, hospital staff and immigration officials are among those staying away from work.

The BBC is reporting that most schools have closed and thousands of non-emergency operations have been cancelled or delayed.

Ports, airports and transport systems are also affected.

Tens of thousands of people have joined rallies around Britain as part of the strike.

Public sector unions say people have been asked to pay more and work longer, for smaller pensions.

However, British Home Secretary Theresa May says the unions have to acknowledge the need for pension reform.

She says the strike is irresponsible at a time when negotiations with the unions are ongoing.

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the strike as a damp squib.