400,000 workers predicted to strike
The Government will face a storm of protest over public sector pensions, pay and jobs on Thursday when tens of thousands of workers, ranging from police officers to immigration staff, will strike and take other forms of action.
Union leaders predict that up to 400,000 workers will be involved in a wave of demonstrations, fuelled by ministers making it clear in the Queen's Speech that they are pressing ahead with their controversial reforms.
Civil servants, lecturers, health workers, Ministry of Defence staff, immigration officers, off-duty police officers and members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary will be among those joining strikes and other forms of protest across the UK.
The walkout follows last November's huge stoppage by over one-and-a-half million workers in protest at the planned changes to their pensions.
Most public sector unions remain opposed to the reforms which they warned would leave millions of workers having to pay more into their pensions, retire later and receive less when they stop work.
Up to 16,000 off-duty officers will don black caps representing each officer expected to be lost under the Government's budget cuts as they take to the streets.
The officers, banned from striking under law, will march through central London in a protest against proposed changes to their pay and conditions.
Some 20,000 officers from all 43 forces across England and Wales are expected to take part in the first police march in the capital for more than four years, organisers said.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the sea of black caps will show the number of officers the public will lose over four years as a result of the cuts.
Unite's assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail, said the action "will build on the high level of anger that was on display during the November 30 strikes".