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21 Mar, 2013 06:47

UK civil servants stage mass strike on budget day (PHOTOS)

A quarter of a million UK civil servants staged a mass walk-out in protest of sweeping budget cuts. Union members claim the government has refused to negotiate on their contested budget and have launched a three-month campaign to push their demands.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has warned that the budget day strikes are just the tip of the iceberg and “the start of a rolling program of walkouts and disruptive action to put pressure on a government."

Striking civil servants marched on number 10 Downing Street voicing their outrage at government cuts to pensions and wage packets, while the PCS held a rally in Westminster during Chancellor George Osborne’s speech.

"Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on but, instead of rewarding them, the government is imposing cuts to their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their basic working conditions,” said General Secretary of the PCS  Mark Serwotka.

Screenshot taken from Ruptly footage.

The British government criticized the civil servant strike as counterproductive. Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude decried the walk-out as

“futile” and described its impact as

“minimal.”"The public will have been inconvenienced to a very small extent by the strike today," he said to press.

He claimed that only 95,000 staff members took part in the mass walk-out, while the PCS disputes this, putting the total figure at around 250,000.

PCS members who work in customs offices, immigration and job centers are demanding a 5 per cent pay rise.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne unveiled the UK’s 2013 budget on Wednesday, prompting the nation’s growth forecast to be downgraded by more than half over the next year.

Screenshot taken from Ruptly footage.

Screenshot taken from Ruptly footage.

Screenshot taken from Ruptly footage.