Tens of thousands of public sector workers have gathered in London, Glasgow and Belfast to protest about low pay.
Organised by the Trades Union Congerss (TUC), the rallies are against the below-inflation 1 per cent pay offer, which the government says will safeguard jobs. According to the TUC, average wages have dropped by £50 a week since 2008.
Between 80,000 and 90,000 people are said to be taking part in the protests, which the TUC has called “Britain Needs a Pay Rise”.
Those taking part include teachers, nurses, civil servants and hospital workers, and the marches follow on from other public sector strikes earlier in the week – on Monday, health workers protested against NHS pay for the first time since the 1980s.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC’s general secretary, said the “massive turnout” would provide a strong message for the government.
"Our message is that after the longest and deepest pay squeeze in recorded history, it's time to end the lock-out that has kept the vast majority from sharing in the economic recovery,” she said.