Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

300,000 Workers to Strike; Union Bosses Predict a Big Turnout across the North East in Protest at Government

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

300,000 Workers to Strike; Union Bosses Predict a Big Turnout across the North East in Protest at Government

Article excerpt

Byline: WILLIAM GREEN

UNION chiefs have predicted a massive turnout for tomorrow's strike which will cause major disruption across the North East.

The TUC predicts 300,000 people in the region will go on strike as millions of public sector workers nationwide protest over controversial changes to their pensions.

Public transport and council services will be hit and many schools will be closed as industrial action bites.

Metro bosses at Nexus have confirmed there will be no trains running tomorrow.

They have also warned there may also be disruption to services tonight and early on Thursday morning as a result of industrial action.

The Shields Ferry service will also be suspended but commercial bus services will run as normal with some operators running extra services.

Most schools across the region - including at least 89 in Newcastle, 64 in South Tyneside, 61 in North Tyneside and 244 in County Durham - will be closed.

Both Northumberland County Council and Gateshead Council were unable to say which schools they believe will be affected in their areas.

Councils across the region will be affected, with workers unlikely to empty bins or carry out street cleaning.

Libraries, community centres, town halls, registrars' offices, leisure centres, museums and some Sure Start centres and council nurseries are likely to be closed.

Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman Hospital, said it has a deal in place with unions to ensure emergency medicine and cancer surgery will continue.

Some outpatient clinics may also go ahead staffed by doctors and nurses not taking part in the strike, but routine, elective surgeries will be cancelled. Newcastle International Airport said it expects a number of passport control staff from the UK Border Agency to walk out, but that would not affect any outgoing flights and should, at worst, only delay passengers returning to the UK. …

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