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UK braces for largest wave of strikes in over a decade

About half a million teachers, civil servants, train drivers and university lecturers in the UK are striking today in the largest coordinated action in a generation which the government says will cause widespread disruption.

The mass walkouts will see schools close, the military on standby to help at Britain’s borders, and no rail services running across much of the country. Union leaders estimate up to 500,000 people will take part, the highest number for at least a decade, and there will be rallies against a planned new law to curb strikes in some sectors, a proposal they argue will poison relations further. 

The government says “mitigations” will be in place but the strikes would have a significant impact. Today, about 300,000 teachers will take action, along with 100,000 civil servants from more than 120 government departments, and tens of thousands of university lecturers and rail workers.

Next week, nurses, ambulance staff, paramedics, emergency call handlers and other healthcare workers are set to stage more walkouts, while firefighters this week also backed a nationwide strike.

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