Belfast Telegraph

Buses and trains halted by strike

Public transport services across Northern Ireland will be cancelled on Friday due to mass strike action against Stormont cuts.

Operator Translink announced that it would be unable to run any buses or trains due to the impact of the industrial action.

Members of public sector unions are staging a widespread 24-hour walkout to protest against spending cuts and job losses. Union leaders have warned the action will be the biggest in many years.

Translink workers from the GMB and Unite unions are joining the action.

Ciaran Rogan, of Translink, said: "I would like to apologise to all our passengers who will be inconvenienced by this strike action, which is unfortunately beyond our control.

"I think it is important to give people as much notice as possible in order that they may make alternative arrangements for travel on that day."

Mr Rogan said he was in communication with the Education and Library Boards to discuss transport options if schools open on Friday.

Members of the Unison, Nipsa and GMB unions working in health, education, the Civil Service, transport and a range of other public sectors fields will strike on Friday.

They are angry at Stormont budgets that have cut multi-millions off public spending; a voluntary redundancy scheme to reduce the Civil Service by 20,000; and a proposed cut in corporation tax in Northern Ireland.

The fate of both the redundancy scheme and the devolution of corporation tax powers from Westminster are now shrouded in uncertainty after a political row over welfare reform threatened the Stormont House Agreement in which those proposals were included.

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