Unions have issued a fresh strike warning after public services across Leeds were disrupted by a 24-hour walkout.
More than 2,500 people in the city took part in yesterday’s (Thursday) action in protest at changes to their pensions.
Civil servants and university lecturers plus health, immigration and court staff were among the public sector workers joining a nationwide show of union strength.
And today one of the prime movers in the stoppages, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, refused to rule out a repeat in the coming months.
Stella Dennis, PCS regional officer for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “There is likely to be further action before the end of June if the Government does not get back round the negotiating table.”
Sites picketed included Leeds General Infirmary, job centres on Park Place and Tower House Way, the Leeds Combined Court Centre and the Headrow offices of arbitration service Acas.
A midday rally in Millennium Square was attended by about 250 people.
Many had marched into the city centre from a meeting point opposite Leeds Metropolitan University on Woodhouse Lane.
Court service bosses said “robust contingency” plans allowed them to prioritise custody and urgent family cases.
A spokeswoman for Leeds Bradford Airport said its services were unaffected by immigration staff’s support for the strike. Nationwide, just nine job centres were reported to have closed.
The Government insists the level of public sector pensions is unsustainable.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude condemned the action as “futile” and said talks over pensions would not be reopened.
l More than 100 officers at Leeds Prison staged a walkout yesterday, taking up position outside the jail’s gates from 7am to 1.30pm.
They described the action as a “protest meeting”, as prison officers are not legally allowed to go on strike.
Terry Fullerton, a national executive committee member at the Prison Officers Association, said the walkout was a response to Government plans to link staff’s normal pension age to the state pension age.
Mr Fullerton also said enough officers had remained on duty inside the prison to provide minimum cover levels. The Government branded the action at Leeds and other jails as “unlawful”.