Derry politicians came out in force to show solidarity with the workers during yesterday’s march and rally.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan joined Mayor of Derry Brenda Stevenson and her SDLP party colleagues from Derry City Council at Guildhall Square yesterday afternoon.
Numerous Sinn Fein representatives including Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney and a number of others also took part in the march and rally.
Speaking ahead of the speeches, Minister Durkan told the ‘Journal’: “I think it’s extremely important we come out today and show solidarity with our valuable public sector workers, and support for the extremely valuable and necessary work that they do, and which is often taken for granted.
“We in the SDLP have a proud record as regards public sector workers. Only recently in the Assembly we have been the only party to support an attack on public sector pensions and again we find ourselves here again today standing with public sector workers fighting against an attack on their very pay.”
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney said he too felt it was crucial to show “solidarity with those within the public services, those that are providing very, very essential basic services for the people of the north”.
He added: “I think the fact that the British government are trying to introduce a pay freeze in essence for these workers is something that should be opposed.
“I’m very pleased that many of the unions are here today and that there has been an excellent turnout.
“This is just one part of a process to ensure that the concerns, cause and the position of the public sector is well demonstrated and well articulated.”
veteran SDLP Derry City Councillor Jim Clifford meanwhile said he wanted to show support with the council workers. “They’re the people keep the town ticking over,” he said, adding: “A 1% increase is a disgrace, it wouldn’t get you a fish supper, and I totally support the council workers who are doing a fantastic job.”