Hundreds of public sector workers, community workers, students and members of the public are being encouraged to come out and show their support today for the Trade Unions’ ‘Day of Action’ which takes place at locations across the city.
Local NIPSA Branch Chairperson Sheena McDaid says it’s important that everyone is involved in today’s action, the main event of which is a lunchtime rally at Guildhall Square.
“This day of action isn’t about the workers, it’s about everyone in the wider community who will be impacted by the cuts being forced on us,” Ms. McDaid told the Journal. “Those of us in the Housing Executive are particularly worried about the impact on our tenants which is just one element of the fallout from the cuts being imposed here. Housing Executive rents are still up to 40 per cent less than housing associations.
“What we’re saying is that by investing in the Housing Executive we can create jobs around providing the housing that people desperately need. We think it’s imperative that the Housing Executive is protected, it’s very much a cornerstone of the community.
“The message we want to send back to Stormont is very clear. We cannot and will not take anymore cuts to our vital services.
“This is about each and every one of us in the city who depend on the public services, be it schools, health or the Housing Executive.”
Trade unions taking part in the strike today include NIPSA, Unite, INTO and Unison.
“Healthcare workers, teachers and bus and train drivers from the Unite and GMB unions are also taking part.
“We are faced with an onslaught which is designed to permanently reduce the public sector,” said Ms. McDaid.
The local trade unionist added that it was vital that people come out in big numbers to support today’s event. “The public sector in Derry delivers important services to the community. We cannot sit back and watch as these services are destroyed without building the broadest possible opposition. The bigger the amount of people we can get to show that opposition, the better.”
Today’s march will begin at 12 noon at Altnagelvin Hospital’s main entrance. It will proceed along the Dungiven Road, down Simpson’s Brae, along Duke Street, across the top deck of Craigavon Bridge before making its way up Carlisle Road and down Shipquay Street finishing at the Guildhall Square for the rally at 1pm.