Foyle Bridge builder wrote to Roads Service to say it would not negotiate with striking Derry workers

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The contractor that built the Foyle Bridge wrote to Roads Service in 1983 to say the demands of striking Derry workers were unreasonable.

A file released under the 30/20 Year Rule shows that the contractor would not negotiate with Derry workers who said they were being displaced by outside labour.

A letter, dated June 22, 1983, said: “The workforce for the above contract went on strike on Monday, June 13, 1983. The initial reason for calling the strike was that local Londonderry operatives were paid off whereas operatives from outside the immediate area continued to be employed on the contract.

“Since going on strike the workforce have made a number of unreasonable demands which would involve us in considerable additional expense.”

The contractor wrote there would be no compromise with the strikers.

“Whilst in the past we have negotiated cash incentives with the operatives to ensure important operations continued on the job, it is not our proposal to do son on this occasion.

“Indeed in the past we have gone to great effort and incurred considerable costs in our endeavours to keep the job to programme.

“We must take a stand on this stoppage or the contract will be fraught with difficulty from now until completion. We are not therefore prepared to meet the demands and the strike continues.”