City could be hit by strikes this autumn

The chair of a union in Derry has warned of upset to public services if an agreement on public sector pensions is not reached with the British government.

Liam Gallagher, chair of Unite the Union in Derry, said that several unions across the United Kingdom are planning to strike together in October and suggested that the people of Derry will be affected.

“Unite the Union with other public sector unions have agreed to consult their members about co-ordinated industrial action in early autumn,” he explained.

Mr. Gallagher described the government’s proposal of increased public sector pension payments as unfair and said that it was for that reason that many of the unions have decided to strike.

“It’s not fair to expect public sectors to accept pay reductions, work longer and pay more for their pensions.

“These attacks on living conditions combined with the threat of redundancies and increased work loads is having a demoralising effect on those who work for the common good and provide a fair and cohesive society.”

He added: “It has to be stated that the average public sector pension is £8,000 and is contribution based and is in fact deferred payment of wages. The problem is not that public sector wages are unaffordable but that too few private sector workers have no pension and have no provision for their old age. The public services that we have are worth fighting for and we are calling on everyone to support the unions in maintaining a fair and decent society.”