Unite’s Irish Chair, Liam Gallagher, has urged members to come out in numbers next Thursday to vote for candidates willing to establish a stable and mature Executive that will promote social justice in these uncertain times.
The Derry trade unionist said that, with Brexit looming and a protectionist administration in situ in the United States, a prolonged period of direct rule under a Conservative government in London would be disastrous for the North.
“The bottom line is we would prefer an Assembly there as opposed to direct rule on the basis that at least local politicians would be more accountable, certainly would be more sympathetic, for all of their problems, than a Tory government, particularly in relation to the Northern Ireland public sector, health, social security and education.
“For these reasons we believe it’s better to have an Assembly but what we’re looking for is a more mature type of politics that is going to get us out of this break and restart cycle that we seem to get into. We get a period of stability and people start planning ahead.
“We’re looking for people to move away from the entrenched positions of ‘green and orange’ and get into a more mature politics.”
He called on Unite members to come out and vote, whatever their political preferences.
“Unite is a broad church made up of people from all political parties but our aim is one of social justice. We’d ask our members to reflect that when they are voting. We are calling for a progressive politics, to move away from the old stereotypes and vote for the party that will offer workers the best opportunities.
“We want Northern Ireland to work, we want the Assembly to work,” he said.