SDLP Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole has expressed his solidarity with striking Communication Workers Union (CWU) members.
Postal workers and telecommunications staff continued their strike action on Wednesday as they fight for better pay.
Mr O’Toole said staff deserved a fair pay increase, particularly in light of the cost of living emergency and rising household costs.
South Belfast MLA Mr O’Toole said:
“I’d like to extend my full solidarity to CWU staff striking across the North and in Britain today due to the derisory pay offers put forward by both Royal Mail and the BT Group. These workers should never have been forced into strike action to seek fair pay and better conditions and it's regrettable that the actions of these companies have forced them to take this stand.
“We cannot continue with a situation where large corporations and their executives make huge profits and earn eye-watering salaries while ordinary workers struggle to get by. We are currently in the middle of the worst costs crisis in recent memory, families are struggling to pay their bills, heat their homes and put food on the table and they deserve a fair pay increase that these companies can well afford.
“Royal Mail and BT staff play key roles in our society and we would be utterly lost without them. They kept us connected during the coronavirus pandemic and perform vital tasks in relation to everything from our health service to our internet connections. These companies need to listen to the concerns of their staff and unions and get back around the negotiating table to reach an agreement that guarantees these workers a fair standard of living both during and after the current emergency.
“Nobody should be forced to take strike action to get what they’re owed and the blame for the disruption caused lies solely at the feet of the companies and their attitude to the situation their staff find themselves in. Until large companies begin to take the concerns of their staff seriously we will see more instances of strike action and everyone will suffer as a result.”