– General Secretary of Unite Len McCluskey
Today has been a fantastic success and there will be more strikes in June, at the end of the summer, the winter, next spring and on and on and on.
We need to make it clear that the coalition of resistence we have with groups such as students and senior citizens is generating momentum.
The PM's spokesman said: "Clearly, we think the industrial action is unnecessary. We have set out our proposals for reforming public sector pensions.
"We think they are fair, we think they ensure that public sector pensions remain among the very best available and they mean we can sustain that system into the future.
"I think most people recognise that the Government has to deal with the financial situation it is faced with and that that means taking some difficult decisions to cut public spending."
Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman said Downing Street believed the impact of today's strikes to have been limited, thanks in part to "robust" contingency plans.
"My information is that the impact of the strike has been quite limited."
"The situation on the borders has been managed well and without delays and the vast majority of Job Centres have remained open, so the contingency plans have been working."
Contingency plans have involved drafting in additional people to man border posts, including some who have been trained up to work in the busy periods expected during the Olympics.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: “The dedicated majority of public sector workers are working normally today and rigorous contingency plans are ensuring that nearly all key public services remain open as usual.
“We can now confirm that:
- Just 102,244 civil servants are on strike – down from 146,000 in November and dramatically lower than union claims;
- Our borders have been managed without delays and staff in northern France have prevented 25 people attempting to evade our border controls;
- This morning's industrial action by prison officers is now over, staff are returning to work and our contingency measures were effective."
The General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, Mark Serwotka, says his members are on strike because the changes the government is making to the pensions of public sector workers are unnecessary and unfair.
He said yesterday's Queen's Speech showed how out of touch the government is with the majority of public sector workers who "don't go on strike lightly."
The Government has said the vast majority of public sector workers have been working normal hours today and that disruption to public services has been minimal.
- In total around 100,00 civil servants are on strike, down from 146,000 in November
- Across the UK nine out of over 700 job centres are closed
- Across the UK four out of 504 courts have are closed
It is very disappointing that a handful of unions insist on carrying on with futile strike action which will benefit no one.
We would urge these union leaders to reconsider their position.
Pension talks will not be re-opened and nothing further will be achieved through strike action.
In March we set out our final proposed agreements on pension reform following more than a year of intensive discussions with trades unions. Our reforms ensure that public sector pensions will remain among the very best available and that they can be sustained for the future.
– Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude
Public sector workers are being asked to work a bit longer and pay a bit more, but they will continue to get a guaranteed pension which is index-linked and inflation-proofed.
Most staff on low and middle incomes will receive a pension at retirement as good as what they expect today, and for many it will be even better.
– Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude
The dedicated majority of public sector workers are working normally today and rigorous contingency plans are ensuring that nearly all key public services remain open as usual.
We can now confirm that far fewer civil servants are on strike than in November – with around 100,000 taking part – down from 146,000 last year. This is dramatically lower than union claims.
Immigration Minister Damian Green says the strikes being held by public sector workers across the country today are completely unnecessary.
He said the public sector needs to accept "their share" of the Government austerity cuts and that private sector workers will feel little sympathy for them.