Strike shows scale of anger

Public sector workers gathered in Blackpool town centre for a rally and march

Public sector workers gathered in Blackpool town centre for a rally and march

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UNION leaders today warned of more strike mayhem.

More than 500 public sector workers marched through Blackpool yesterday while hundreds more formed picket lines in a show of strength against pension cuts.

And union leaders said the mass walk-out – dubbed the biggest in a generation – was just the tip of the iceberg as anger grew against the Government.

Peter Marsden, Blackpool branch officer of Unison, said: “It’s a massive step that all the unions are fighting together. What it means in Blackpool is 39 out of 40 schools were closed. This is the start of a massive struggle.”

Simon Bradshaw, a union leader representing workers at Blackpool and The Fylde College, who said he stood to lose £88 a month from pension changes, predicted: “I hope for a negotiated settlement, but I have a feeling we might have to be here again in the new year.”

Ambulance drivers, teachers, social workers, and civil servants were among those who joined a demonstration in St John’s Square before marching through the town centre.

Yesterday’s protest was described as being the biggest in Blackpool since the demonstrations of the 1980s against the poll tax.

Earlier in the day, strikers formed picket lines at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool Town Hall and civil service offices at Norcross and Warbreck Hill,

FOR MORE REACTON SEE THURSDAY’S GAZETTE