The business view
Public sector workers are striking over proposed pension changes. The industrial action could involve up to two million people.
Businesses have been explaining to the BBC News website why Wednesday's strike will impact them.
Simon Clew - Sales Director, Cambridge
Our company researches, develops, designs, manufactures and sells Hi Tech products. The vast majority of our products are exported. At our site in Cambridge, we employ just over 100 staff. These range from engineers, to assembly staff, to sales and marketing staff and management. As a medium sized company we have a high level of dependence on each member of our team across the company.
Right now we are at a particularly critical time as we have just launched our new flagship product and are beginning to ship. Interruptions to workflow are highly undesirable. Goods in, goods out, transport and schools are all affected. We will try our hardest to not let the action damage our business.
The immediate threat to us as a company is some schools being closed. We have asked our staff and happily our local schools are either providing some level of cover or are remaining open. If this does not prove to be the case, where practical, staff will be able to work remotely.
With the threat of the UK Border Agency being closed we re-scheduled our most recent training event in Hong Kong to last week rather than this week. Also we have scheduled our UK training event to next week. When the last strike happened in June, the folk at Heathrow turned up for work. When I thanked the Agent for doing so (I was arriving back from Shanghai) he said that after looking at his pension, he felt he was on a pretty good deal!
For me, it is hard enough selling our products abroad. The embarrassment of strikes damages the reputation of UK Plc. Certainly there is less money to go around and it is a fact that we all have to get used to. Longer working hours for less reward. When compared to much of the rest of the world, in the UK we have a pretty good deal.
Chris Spencer - Engineer, Welwyn Garden City
I work in the private sector as a field service engineer, and as a result travel is a large part of my job not only in the UK but Europe and the rest of the World from time to time. This week I am servicing a piece of equipment in Switzerland, I flew out with BA on Monday morning and was scheduled to fly back Wednesday, this allowed me a comfortable amount of time to finish the job within normal working hours.
As a result of the planned strike and possible delays I have rescheduled my flight, credit to BA allowing me to do this free of charge, and will now be flying home on Tuesday evening getting home very late. This has meant having to work non-stop on Monday without any breaks, and will require me to be in work very early in the morning so I will have the chance to complete my work and carry out the necessary safety checks before handing the equipment back over to the customer.
I have had to cancel a hotel reservation for Tuesday night which may be chargeable at such late notice, fortunately my customer is very sympathetic to the situation even though he may have to pay this cancellation fee.
I have a young family and promised to see them before they go to bed on Wednesday. Saying to my children "Daddy is stuck at the airport and can't make it home" is not an acceptable excuse for a seven and four year old! I see little enough of them during the week I could not let them down again.
I am not a highly paid banker or politician, just a normal working person struggling to feed my family and pay the bills. I really do not think these people realise the consequences of their actions and how they affect normal hard working people's lives.