Derry trade unionist Liam Gallagher calls for mature politics to address crises afflicting workers in New Year

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A leading trade unionist has called for politicians to address the crises in health, education and living standards afflicting workers and families in 2020.

Liam Gallagher, Chair of Unite’s North West area committee, in a New Year message, said an engagement in ‘mature politics’ was particularly necessary following the Westminster election.

“The outcome of the General Election was a blow to all those who hoped for a fundamental change away from Tory austerity which has inflicted so much damage on low paid workers and the unemployed over the last ten years.

“The fact that we have had no regional Government for the last three years has compounded our problems in health and education which have existed on flat line budgets. We are all aware how this has impacted our hospitals and schools,” said Mr. Gallagher.

He referred to the Audit Office (NIAO) report last month that showed the A5 road will be 10 years late and £301m over budget as an example of why Stormont needs to get back to work.

“Recent government audit reports have highlighted the fact major infrastructural projects have grossly overspent by millions and are years behind schedule with no public scrutiny or accountability. Important decisions on new investment and matching funding have been put on hold. Unite have fought a gallant battle to save our manufacturing base with no regional ministerial support. The message from our local elections is that we need our political parties to urgently engage in mature politics on the real issues and to get back to work. Those brave workers from all unions who recently stood on picket lines are determined not to accept any more empty promises in 2020,” he said.