Hundreds of civil servants go on strike in Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon

Jobs and Benefits Office Lurgan Photo courtesy of Google
Jobs and Benefits Office Lurgan Photo courtesy of Google

Union says hundreds of NIPSA staff across Portadown, Lurgan and Craigavon went on strike today.

NIPSA Deputy General Secretary Carmel Gates said offices across north Armagh were affected including Jobs and Benefits Office and Craigavon Court House.

Jobs and Benefits Office Portadown Photo courtesy of Google

Jobs and Benefits Office Portadown Photo courtesy of Google

She said staff from the Department for Infrastructure, Department for Communities and from Marlborough House were also on strike.

Workers in the Vets Office in Lurgan, the Fisheries Agency in Portadown and the Rivers Agency in Carn (part of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs) as well as the Roads Service in Carn were also on strike.

Ms Gates said there was huge support for the strike in the north Armagh area with hundreds of workers taking part.

"People are very angry that there have been ten years of pay cuts. Workers are living in credit card debt and some are relying on government benefits. In the 21st century, this is unhumane.

"We have seen health workers and then teachers fight for pay rises and civil servants will not be left behind," said Carmel, adding that they had met Stormont's Finance Minister Conor Murphy today (Friday).

"We kept the country running while the politicians were off. Enough is enough," she said, pointing out that their numbers had vastly reduced after 3,500 redundancies in less than two years.

"Civil servants have reached breaking point," she said.

A spokesperson for the Department for Communities said: "Lurgan and Portadown Jobs and Benefits offices both remain open today."