Anti-poverty network supports massive public sector strike

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The Northern Ireland Anti-Poverty Network has expressed support for the forthcoming public sector strike on January 18.

Fifteen trade unions representing over 150,000 workers will participate in the Irish Congress of Trade Union co-ordinated action, which will be one of the biggest ever witnessed in the North.

A NIAPN spokesperson said: "The Secretary of State, Chris Heaton Harris, has the money to resolve the pay dispute, but refuses to release it. Money should be made available immediately.

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"It is incredulous that the Secretary of State is holding workers to ransom, claiming their pay dispute can only be realised with a functioning Executive. Workers across NI are not pawns.

A strike rally in Derry last year.A strike rally in Derry last year.
A strike rally in Derry last year.

"This cynical tactic is tiresome, degrading and pathetic. Not only does the SoS have the money for workers pay, but NIAPN calls on the SoS to find the money to reverse the draconian budget cuts that have impacted the most vulnerable in society, particularly children and those with disabilities.”

The NIAPN said the strike will bring communities together.

"Households cannot afford to continue down the path of low pay, poor working conditions and a gutting of our services. After all, the workers in our public sector are also users of these same public services and know all too well the danger of under-investment.

"Continuing on the path of under-investment, low wages, and sub-par services will destroy the social fabric of our society and drive more people further into poverty.

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"NIAPN applauds workers across the public sector for making the hard decision to take industrial action to mount pressure on the government to treat our workers with dignity and fund our workers and services fairly,” the spokesperson said.

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