LONDON (AP) — Thousands of off-duty police officers are marching through London in a demonstration over pay and budget cuts, while tens of thousands of British public sector workers walk off the job to protest the government's proposed changes to pension plans.
Union leaders say some 400,000 civil servants, border, prison and other workers are protesting Thursday ahead of the controversial reforms.
Joining the strike were border staff at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports, where passengers were warned of possible delays.
The U.K. Border Force said it was using a "trained pool of contingency staff to minimize disruption."
Police are barred from striking, but their union says 20,000 officers from across the country are expected to march against cost cuts it says will lead to thousands of lost jobs.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude says the strike is futile and will not result in a reopening of talks on pensions.
The walkout Thursday is the third in the past six months over pension reforms, and the latest wave of protest since Britain's Conservative-led government began slashing billions from public spending in a bid to curb the country's debt.
- Politics & Government