The Industrial Workers of the World has extended its solidarity to education workers at a number of further education colleges across the north as they began industrial action over pay and conditions at six local colleges.
Over the past number of weeks education workers representatives belonging to the University and College Union (UCU) reported that the Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont failed to increase college funding throughout the six counties which would have allowed bosses at further education colleges to implement badly needed pay increases to staff equally.
Today as the online strike action began, a representative of the IWW expressed its solidarity with education workers stating: "Stormont Ministers know full well what is demanded by education workers as the issue of increased funding for further education colleges it has been raised time and time again which again has fallen on deaf ears.
"The decision for any worker to take strike action is something that is always considered as a last resort as the impact of that alone can be huge . Education workers are incensed at having to take industrial action to demand what is rightfully owed to them. It also comes at a time when so much disruption has been caused already by the current pandemic which has impacted greatly upon the lives of young people and that of their overall education and mental wellbeing.
"On behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World, I would like to extend our full solidarity to all education workers today who have participated in strike action and in doing so we add our voice to support their demands. Stormont must now act immediately to resolve the issues of funding and ensure all education workers receive a wage that they rightfully deserve."
Over the next number of weeks education workers have pledged themselves to further rolling industrial action from only working to contracted hours, refusing overtime and boycotting additional duties.