Strike action on Translink bus and rail services today in absence of pay offer

Joint Transport Union press release

Bus and rail workers to conduct sixth one-day strike action on 1 February 

A further three strike dates in February are planned in campaign to secure a cost-of-living pay increase

More than 3,000 workers at Translink are to commence a further 24-hour stoppage tomorrow (Thursday 1 February) in the cost of living pay dispute. Members of the transport unions, Unite, GMB and SIPTU, will begin their sixth one day strike on a staggered basis from midnight. The strike will bring all bus and rail services across the  Six Counties to a standstill.

The strikes are a result of Translink failing to make any form of a pay offer to its workers. Funding for public transport services has been constrained with no money for a cost of living pay increase being made available as a result of the punitive budget imposed by secretary of state Chris Heaton-Harris.

Despite recent political developments, no improved pay offer has been made to the public transport unions. There is no clarity on the timing of such an offer or even a timeframe for negotiations.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Bus and Rail workers rightfully expect a pay increase that protects them from the worst inflationary surge in generations. Instead in a complete abdication of responsibility to its workers, Translink has failed to make any offer.

“As a result public transport workers have no alternative but to continue with planned strike action. They have the full support of Unite in their fight to win respect and a cost of living pay increase.”

GMB regional organiser Peter Macklin said: “Regardless of the latest developments at Stormont, our members are still facing the prospect of a zero per cent offer made last year being imposed. A few years ago, these workers were being hailed as frontline heroes. They deserve better and they are ready and willing to strike to secure it. 

“At any point, if a meaningful pay offer is received then that is something our members will consider and respond to appropriately but in the absence of any movement, we have no alternative but to proceed with the planned action.”

SIPTU regional organiser Niall McNally said: “In the aftermath of the 18 January one day public sector strike, secretary of state Chris Heaton-Harris said he would move to address the pressures on the public sector finances but as yet that has not translated into any offer for workers.

“We are hearing a lot of promises but so far we have no pay offer or even a timeline for a pay offer. Without that the unions will proceed with our agreed plans for further and escalated strike action in this dispute.”