Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Strike plans 'will see Northern Ireland brought to standstill'

A major strike in October could see tens of thousands of civil servants down tools and take to the streets in Northern Ireland.

Public sector unions are to meet over the summer to discuss balloting for a general strike that could bring Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to a standstill.

Derry Trades Council secretary Liam Gallagher said there was a misguided belief among many people that civil servants were paid big salaries. He said various unions including Unite, Unison and and the GMB will meet in July with a view to widening the ballot for industrial action.

"By autumn there could be two to three million across the UK on strike and the expectation is this will occur some time around October," he added.

The PCS union's regional committee chairman Barney Lawn, commenting on yesterday's strike, said: "It has been an excellent turnout at all off the picket lines."

He said Government plans would mean people not qualifying for a pension until 66 and paying a lot more for 20-50% less.

"But this is more than pensions," he added. "It is to do with the Government saying they are cutting 490,000 Civil Service and public sector jobs."

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