Strikers told to be home in time for Newsround

BRITAIN’S public sector workers have been allowed out on strike today as long as they are home before it gets too dark.

More than two million workers have had some Ready Brek and reluctantly agreed to wear their mittens as their worried parents sent them off on what, for many, will be their first official day of action.

Helen Cook, whose son Julian is a member of Unison, said: “Before he went to bed last night his dad and I helped him with his placard. We wrote ‘ME’ in great big purple letters.

“He’s going to be standing outside the council building. He says he wants to be in charge of the ‘big metal bin with the fire in it’.

“The shop steward is a bit older so me and a few of the other mums have asked him to keep an eye on the little ones.

“As long as he’s home in time for Newsround then at least he won’t be walking home in the dark. And he might even get to see himself on the telly. He wants to be interviewed by that Emily Maitlis.”

Margaret Hollis, whose daughter Nikki is ‘very grouchy’ said: “Her bottom lip starts trembling and then she says ‘mummy, I was promised a lovely thing and now they’re changing everything’.

“I’m happy for her to go on her little strike but I don’t want it to disturb her routine. So, as normal, I’ll drop her off at the council building about nine-ish and pick her up about half-four. And in between times she’ll just be standing around drinking coffee and talking to her friends.

“She goes to a really nice council. As a parent, you do worry about bullying but they have a very thorough disciplinary process which takes 48 weeks and involves hundreds of people.”

She added: “I just want what every parent wants for their child – to see them ponce off to some cottage in Normandy at the age of 53.  And if we need to tax rich people a lot more then I really don’t think they will suddenly decide to leave Britain in the way that thousands and thousands and thousands of them did in the 1970s.”

Helen Cook added: “I know at some point I will have to tell him about the ‘real world’ and that if you want something nice then you shouldn’t expect other people to pay for it.

“But he’s only 39.”

From the strike vaults:

A guide to strike etiquette

Strike could leave airports exactly the same

Why would you think pension strikes are about pensions? asks TUC


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