30 November 2011
Last updated at 16:18
Public sector workers are staging a strike over pensions in what unions say is set to be the biggest walkout for a generation.
Unions object to government plans to make their members pay more and work longer to earn their pensions.
Schools, hospitals, courts and government offices around the UK are among services being disrupted, as more than 1,000 demonstrations take place.
Unions estimate about 300,000 public sector workers are on strike in Scotland while 170,000 workers in Wales are taking action .
The Department of Education says it is expecting 13% of state-funded schools in England, including academies and free schools, to open and 13% to be partially open. The status of 16% of schools is unknown.
Plane arrivals and take-offs at Britain's two biggest airports - Heathrow and Gatwick - are said to be largely unaffected with only a few cancellations of in-bound transatlantic flights to Heathrow.
In England, the government estimates about 400,000 nurses and healthcare assistants, paramedics, physiotherapists and support staff like cleaners and administrators are joining the action.
Speaking from Brussels, Chancellor George Osborne told BBC Breakfast: "The strike is not going to achieve anything, it's not going to change anything. It is only going to make our economy weaker and potentially cost jobs."
Prime Minister David Cameron described the strike as a "damp squib".
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said that the last time unions met Treasury ministers was 2 November, adding that "this idea that negotiations are continuing is just not true".