Thousands on strike across Craigavon

  • Many schools are closed
  • Public transport across the borough has come to a standstill
  • Calls for an end to austerity measures

Strike action is affecting large parts of the Lurgan, Portadown and Craigavon areas today as workers from a number of unions are taking industrial action.

The strike is affecting education, public transport and administration.

Strikers from St Mary's JHS and Ceara School at the official picket line in Lurgan

Strikers from St Mary's JHS and Ceara School at the official picket line in Lurgan

Many schools were off and hospital staff also joined picket lines.

John Creaney of Unison said he was pleased with the turnout at Craigavon Area Hospital where the picket was staged at the roundabout.

He said the reason for the strike was the budget cuts and called for more health staff on the front line.

He defended the fun day atmosphere at the picket line where there was an inflatable ‘pub’ and barbeque. He said the union wanted to get the public on their side and support their calls for an end to austerity measures.

Austerity will devastate Northern Ireland’s economy

Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly of Unite said: “Austerity will devastate Northern Ireland’s economy – an economy underpinned by public sector consumption. Austerity will only exacerbate sectarian divisions pitting one community against the other in a desperate contest for resources.

“We do not accept blaming the Tories is a justification for administering these cuts. Our local political leaders are joined at the hip in their demand for the power to slash corporation tax rates through decimating funding for public services by – at the very least - a further £325 million a year.”

Translink is not operating any scheduled bus or train services, except the Ulsterbus express Belfast to Dublin service at 23:00 GMT.