Brakes slammed on Derry bus and rail services as public transport workers strike for better pay

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Bus and rail services will be brought to a standstill on Friday as members of the SIPTU, GMB and UNITE unions strike for improved pay.

School buses are among the services which will not operate on Friday. A small number of late night services on Thursday and early morning services on Saturday will also be impacted.

All three leading public transport unions reported large majorities for strike action in protest at a zero-percent pay offer by Translink management.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

UNITE reported a vote for strike action of 95.5 per cent; GMB of 95.6 per cent for strike and SIPTU of 93.1 per cent - all on turnouts of 60 per cent to 70 per cent.

Goldline services will not be operating on Friday due to industrial action.Goldline services will not be operating on Friday due to industrial action.
Goldline services will not be operating on Friday due to industrial action.

As a result there will be no train or bus services – Ulsterbus, Goldliner, Metro or Glider – on Friday.

Translink has said it was unable to make a pay offer as there was no budget for it in Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris’ 2023-2024 allocations

“Ultimately this issue needs to be resolved for many public sector workers at the NI Executive level,” Translink said in a statement.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It added: “While we understand and recognise the concerns that have led to our trade union colleagues’ decision to vote in favour of industrial action, we would urge our colleagues not to take action which could further exacerbate the financial pressures on Translink, could impact on school children and could damage the livelihoods of many business in the retail and hospitality sectors who depend on the busy Christmas period.

Northern Ireland Rail services will not be operating on Friday.Northern Ireland Rail services will not be operating on Friday.
Northern Ireland Rail services will not be operating on Friday.

"We remain committed to working with our colleagues in the trade unions to avoid disrupting services that so many of our passengers rely on.

"We will communicate relevant passenger information through the media, on our website through social media, in stations, and on buses and trains. Our contact centre will also remain open 028 90 666 630.

“Translink apologises for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Councillors back Translink workers ahead of industrial action over pay

Last week Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “Chris Heaton-Harris has imposed a brutal budget settlement on the Department for Infrastructure which provides no funding for a pay increase for bus and rail workers.

"Translink workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action – the Secretary of State must now intervene to properly fund public transport in order to avoid what will be a debilitating and disruption strike action on the public transport system of Northern Ireland.”

GMB Regional Organiser Peter Macklin said: “This strike ballot provides a strong mandate from our members for strike action on both bus and rail services. The reality is that if all three frontline public transport unions strike it will bring all bus and rail services to a standstill. We will be meeting in the days ahead to agree a schedule and strategy for strike action to secure an improvement to members’ pay.”

SIPTU Senior Organiser Niall McNally said: “Strike action is always a last resort for workers and their unions. No worker wants to be in the situation of taking strike action in the run-up to Christmas but Chris Heaton-Harris’ budget settlement leaves our members with no alternative.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We recognise the dislocation and economic scarring that will result from a public transport strike but our members cannot accept a pay freeze in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.”