Show of force on strike day

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PICKET lines were in place today (Wednesday) as public sector workers took part in a national one-day strike over changes to pensions.

Council staff, prison workers and teachers were among the staff from a total of 20 unions taking industrial action in protest at changes to their pension arrangements.

Spirits were high despite the winter chill as members of the public showed their support for those on strike by either speaking to them, honking horns, or a simple thumbs up.

Dozens of union members from Unison and Unite, based at the council-run Cupid Green depot in Hemel Hempstead, successfully manned a picket line that delivery drivers agreed not to cross.

The protesters then moved camp to the Civic Centre, voicing their message to passers-by.

Elsewhere schools were forced to close for the day and Hemel Hempstead Hospital staff manned picket lines at entrances to the site.

The protestors joined the action because of government plans that would see staff pay three per cent more of their salary towards their pensions, receive a smaller amount back, and increase the retirement age.