Workers in Roads, River, Forestry and Ferry workers and other civil service commence initial, weeklong strike action for pay improvement

Joint Unite-GMB Press Release

Strike action by industrial civil servants set to commence from midnight 20th April and continue to 26th April

Industrial action by members of Unite and GMB follow ballots of 91 percent and 80 percent in favour of strike respectively.  – workers will join wider civil service industrial action involving NIPSA and PCS

Unite and GMB members employed in the industrial civil service, including the Roads Service, the Forestry Service, the Rivers Agency and the Strangford to Portaferry ferry service will commence strike action from 00.01am on April 20th. The strike action is likely to paralyse activities across these services and is set to continue until Midnight on April 26th.

This strike action follows an overwhelming vote by members of the two unions (with majorities of 91 percent in Unite and 80 percent in GMB) for industrial action to secure a fair pay increase. Currently and despite inflation running at the highest levels in a generation, industrial civil service workers are being offered a consolidated pay increase of only £552 for the current year.

Unite and GMB members working for the industrial civil service will be joining those of NIPSA and PCS in the wider civil service who are also set to take strike action. The industrial action by civil servants will also overlap with strike action planned by education workers.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham expressed her union’s full support for the striking workers.

“The offer of a bare £552 extra a year is a slap in the face for those responsible for the maintenance of vital public services and infrastructure. That’s pennies more than ten pound a week and will do nothing for workers feeling the impact of the worst cost of living crisis in living memory. 

“Roads, Forestry, Rivers, Strangford lough ferry and other civil service workers in Unite are taking a first week strike action. The employers need to recognise that this is just a start. These workers are determined to win a proper and respectful pay increase. They do so in the full knowledge that this union stands full square behind them. “

Alan Perry Regional Organiser for GMB said,

“The workers taking part in this strike action are responsible for the maintenance of roads, rivers and forests. This strike will have a huge impact on a range of public services.  

“This strike action occurs alongside that being taken by other public sector workers including across the civil service and in the education sector. Workers are demanding a fair pay increase to protect themselves and their families from surging prices. The impact that these strikes will have is entirely avoidable – we need to see quick action from employers to meet fully the pay expectations of our members.”


For further information or an interview, contact Donal O’Cofaigh, Unite Campaigns, Comms & Press (NI) tel. 07810157926 or Alan Perry, GMB Regional Organiser, tel. 07974 018410.

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