SIPTU members have hailed the support received from the public for the strike action taken by over 200,000 public sector workers in Northern Ireland today (30th November).
Across the North, workers on picket lines reported expressions of public support for their industrial action taken to protest attempts by the London government to cut workers pension entitlements and reduce public services.
Approximately 1,000 SIPTU members from Northern Ireland Railways, Belfast City Council, Newry and Mourne District Council, Southern and Belfast Education and Library Boards and Northern Ireland Water took part in the industrial action.
SIPTU picketed local government offices, railway stations, waste depots, community centres and schools.
Rallies were held in Newry, Omagh, Derry, Magherafelt, Downpatrick and Belfast city centre where public sector workers heard teachers, bin workers and health employees explain what cuts in services would mean to the public.
The main rally was held in Belfast centre, attended by an estimated 20,000 among them SIPTU President, Jack O’Connor.
Addressing the crowd ICTU Assistant General Secretary, Peter Bunting, said; “The real extremists in our society are those who evade and avoid tax, those who have gambled billions with other peoples’ money to sate their greed, and those politicians who have decreed that ordinary people, private sector workers, public sector workers and the most vulnerable of all, the unemployed, the sick, women and children, and senior citizens, will pay for the criminal conduct of the pampered elite.”
Peter Bunting concluded; “Let us fight on and build for the alternative – people, jobs and public services!”