Countries are at their mercy:
More than one million local authority workers have gone on strike in a row over pensions that has forced hundreds of schools and public buildings to close and brought chaos to Britain's transport network.
The strike, which is thought to be Britain's biggest in 80 years, also badly disrupted services including refuse collection, street cleaning and the running of courts.
....Motorists in the North West and North East were among the first to be hit this morning because the strike led to the closure of the Mersey Tunnels in Liverpool and the Metro on Tyneside.
....The Metro rail system on Tyneside was shut and the Tyne Tunnel crossing, which normally carries thousands of cars and lorries during the morning rush-hour, was also closed. Multi-storey car parks in the heart of Newcastle did not open and the city's traffic wardens joined the strike.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, will tour picket lines in London today before joining a rally in Westminster alongside leaders of several other unions involved in the dispute. He said today that the stance of the Government and the Local Government Association over the pensions of council workers was "immoral".