Up to one million public sector workers including teachers and firefighters staged a 24-hour pay strike on Thursday in a co-ordinated stoppage that has prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to pledge a crackdown on union powers.
Thousands of protesters were gathering to march through the streets of Britain's main cities in one of the biggest labour stoppages for three years.
Denouncing what they called "poverty pay," they demanded an end to restrictions on wage rises that have been imposed by the government since 2010 in an effort to help reduce Britain's huge budget deficit.
On Wednesday, Cameron told parliament he planned to limit unions' powers to call strikes.
"How can it possibly be right for our children's education to be disrupted by trade unions acting in this way" he said.