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Only 25% of public sector voted for the strike

The regional secretary of Unite, Jimmy Kelly, was responsible for an amazing piece of obfuscation in your paper (Comment, November 28). He referred to the 'overwhelming votes in favour of taking industrial action'. What nonsense.

Some 77% of union numbers voted in favour of yesterday's strike. But what Mr Kelly didn't say was that 69% of members did not vote. Simple arithmetic would show that 77% of the 31% who did vote works out at 25%.

So only 25% of the public sector voted for the strike, which is estimated to have cost Northern Ireland £500m in lost productivity.

These are the same people who, on average, are paid 41% more than the ordinary person in the private sector. If you are a woman in the private sector, your counterpart in the public sector will, on average, be paid 65% more.

Mr Kelly referred to a typical public sector employee surviving on a pension of £5,600. That is the lowest figure paid to anyone in the public sector on retirement.

Mr Kelly has trained his members to bluff instead of getting off their backsides and working.

IAN RAINEY

Jordanstown, Co Antrim

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