The entire transport system across the North is set to grind to a halt on May 17th as Translink workers prepare for industrial action. Union members, represented by both Unite and the GMB, earlier rejected a revised pay offer of 3% from transport bosses. Transport members demanded a 6% pay rise for workers across the North of Ireland, to cope with the rise of inflation and the pressure now placed on workers to survive. The strike action is set to include Translink drivers, cleaners and shunters who notified bosses of a seven-day walkout.
A spokesperson for the Industrial Workers of the World said that “Firstly our solidarity must be with the workers themselves who have been put under such pressure. It is by no means an easy decision to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough. The current economic chaos within the system will result in further attacks upon the weakest within society.
"As a union we believe that what we are now witnessing is workers organising to demand better. We fully support every fight in which workers demand what is rightfully theirs. We are already hearing stories of workers unable to afford gas or oil to keep warm or their families skipping meals or attending food banks just to get by each month. The transport workers strike, like others already in the pipeline, tells us that more and more workers are standing up as saying this is not acceptable and we're not prepared to take it.
"Over the next few weeks as more picket lines grow, support and solidarity from other workers and working class communities will be important on the picket lines.
“This weeks strike action by the transport workers, just as the act of taking part in industrial action itself is extremely important for all of us as workers. It shows other workers in the same situation that they can demand better. It is important for workers from other sectors to realise the strength we have as class, be that in the workplace or in our communities. Especially at a time when we are preparing to take on the bosses against the squeeze on pay and our living standards generally. Solidarity for us is more than just a word, it is a weapon, against those who would rather see us destitute and lining up at food banks.”