The West Midlands economy faces being set back by £9 million as a result of lost productivity when public sector workers strike next week.

All schools are expected to shut and scores of other key services crippled when up to 150,000 public sector workers in the region walk out over pensions on November 30.

The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group says Birmingham’s economy alone is likely to suffer a set-back to the tune of £3 million, while the impact on the West Midlands as a whole will be closer to £9 million.

The TUC claims that more than two million public sector workers are now set to strike over the Government’s pensions reforms, threatening the biggest day of industrial unrest since the 1979 Winter of Discontent.

Chamber president Michael Ward said: “It’s extremely regrettable that the threatened strike action will have an impact on the competitiveness and productivity of businesses.

“The strike is going to do the public sector no good at all and most businesses will be hoping its impact is minimal.

“It’s important the government stands firm on this and sticks to its belief that as people are living longer it is only fair that they work for a bit longer before drawing their pension.

“With costs rising by one third over the past 10 years, it seems right that the country should ask all but the lowest paid to contribute more.”

“Public services, including schools, bus services, courts, job centres, driving tests, councils and hospitals are likely to be affected.

“Clearly some employees simply will not be able to get into work. And those with children will also be faced with finding alternative child care arrangements if schools are closed.

“In those circumstances, many businesses are urging their staff to work from home where possible. But if not, most companies will expect them to take a day’s holiday if they cannot work.

“We can only hope that the disruption and the impact on the economy is kept to the minimum.”