UK: Thousands walk off the job in pension protests

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LONDON (AP) -- Teachers and public service workers are out on picket lines across Britain after hundreds of thousands walked off the job to protest pension cuts.

Disruptions are expected at airports, where travelers could face long lines at immigration because of walkouts by passport officers.

Some three-quarters of a million workers are expected to go on a one-day strike. Thursday's walkouts are the first salvo in what unions hope will be a summer of discontent against the cost-cutting government's austerity plans.

London's mayor Boris Johnson repeated his call for changes to employment law that would make it harder for strikes to take place. Johnson told the BBC that strikes go ahead even though there are "very low" turnouts in strike ballots.