By Maximilian Clarke

Fears of widespread industrial action effectively bringing country to its knees appear to have gone largely unfounded, as hospitals and transport networks remain open during the UK’s ‘biggest strikes for a generation’.

Three quarters of the UK’s civil servants went to work today as usual, whilst fewer UK Border Agency staff joined the strikes than had been feared. A total walkout by the UKBA, which would have prompted widespread delays at Heathrow at great cost to the UK economy, had been predicted. Not only did Border Agency staff ensure smooth operation at the country’s borders, but also 1.5kg cocaine was seized at Stansted.

“I want to thank the majority of dedicated and committed public sector workers who have turned up to work today to deliver essential services,” said Cabinet Secretary, Francis Maude.

“Today’s strike is inappropriate, untimely and irresponsible, especially while talks are ongoing. Responsibility for any disruption which people may experience today lies squarely with union leaders.”

However, just 13% of schools remained operational, contributing to millions of lost work hours as parents across the country took time off work to look after children.

The Ministry of Justice continued to operate, though a significant reduction in staff forced Probation Trusts to ‘prioritise essential work to protect the public’.

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