Thousands expected to take part in one of biggest strikes ever witnessed in Derry

Thousands of workers in Derry will take to the picket lines on Thursday in what has been billed as one of the biggest strikes ever witnessed in the city and across the north.
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At least 15 trade unions will be taking part in what effectively amounts to a general strike across the public sector on January 18.

Health, education, public transport, road workers and civil servants will be among those striking for improved pay and conditions and increased funding for public services in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Northern Ireland Committee’s ‘Generalised Day of Action’ on Thursday.

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Derry Trades Union Council (DTUC) will be coordinating Thursday’s strike action and will be holding a major strike rally in Guildhall Square at 11.45am.

A previous strike rally in Guildhall Square.A previous strike rally in Guildhall Square.
A previous strike rally in Guildhall Square.

Niall McCarroll, DTUC Chairperson, says the demonstration will provide a ‘platform for local workers to express their frustration and articulate what exactly is going on inside our public services’.

Mr. McCarroll said British Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris should release close to £600m for public sector pay that was included as part of £3.3 billion financial package aimed at convincing the DUP to return to power-sharing at Stormont.

“We want Secretary of State Heaton-Harris to stop using the underfunding of our public services as negotiating leverage with the DUP,” he said.

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On Thursday, health, education, transport workers and other trade union members will converge on Guildhall Square from alternative muster points at Altnagelvin at 10.30am and Sainsbury's Car Park at 11am.

"Right across this city and district, the common enemy of people has always been the establishment - bringing us community division, poverty, Brexit, reduced incomes for families, declining benefits, hunger, insulting pay offers, extortionate CEO pay, privatisation, foodbanks and, of course, the ongoing genocide in Gaza - an endless list.

"They say there is no money for inflation-busting pay rises but, yet, there is unlimited money for war, death and destruction,” he stated.

The Department of Health has said it is ‘extremely concerned’ about the potential impact of the planned industrial action on Thursday.