Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude
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Strike: Francis Maude 'astonished' at Unison claims

As public sector workers begin a 24-hour strike over changes to their pensions, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has said he is ''astonished'' at claims by unions that talks with the government have broken down.

Around two million workers are taking part in the action, which is causing disruption to public transport, hospitals, courts and council services.

Calling the strike ''indefensible,'' Mr Maude said it is ''simply not the case'' that there are no negotiations.

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