About 70,000 construction workers joined a national strike of 1.5 million council workers over pensions on Monday.

The workers, employed by local authorities, are represented by UCATT, Amicus, the T&G and GMB. The 24-hour strike was in protest at planned cuts to the public sector pension scheme.

The dispute, Britain's biggest industrial walkout since 1926, centres on attempts to remove the so-called "85-year-rule" from October. This allows workers to retire at 60 on a full pension if their age and years of service total 85. The government wants to raise the retirement age to 65.

Alan Ritchie, UCATT general secretary, said: "It is clear to everyone that low-paid government workers have had enough of being treated as second-class citizens."