30/06/2011

Thousands Of NI Civil Servants Strike

Some 3,000 civil servants across are on strike across Northern Ireland in a bid to halt changes to their pay and pensions.

Four unions - the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the National Union of Teachers, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and the University and College Union – have planned the joint strike action to defend their pensions.

Belfast International Airport said there may be flight delays as immigration and customs officers were also on strike.
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PCS said picket lines outside of Belfast will be operating from around 7.30 am until 10.30/11.00 am while those in Belfast will be operating from 7.30 am until 11.30 am. "This is to enable members of PCS to attend the event at 12.00 noon, Dorchester House, Great Victoria Street, Belfast," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, defending the strike action, a spokesperson for influential union NIPSA said: "A united co-ordinated campaign by the trade unions can help galvanise the opposition to the Con-Dem and NI Assembly austerity agenda.

"It can strengthen the fight against cuts, it can increase the confidence of workers that they have the power in their own hands to make a difference, to force this government to reverse its plans to roll back the advances by the workers over decades of struggle.

"We owe it not only to ourselves but to the generation of young people who will face a life on the dole queue or emigration."

Across the UK some 600,000 teachers and civil servants are taking part in the strike against planned pension changes.

(DW/GK)

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