SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has confirmed that the party’s MLAs will back a motion to recall the Northern Ireland Assembly this week ahead of strike action on Thursday 18th January.
The SDLP Leadership Team will meet with the Secretary of State this afternoon where Mr Eastwood will repeat his call on Chris Heaton Harris to deliver the additional resource required to address pay pressures across the public sector.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“Public sector workers have had enough. Enough of pay degradation and struggling to make ends meet, enough of being kicked about in a game between the NIO and the DUP, enough of the constant political failure that always means they lose out.
“Not one single worker wants to be out on strike this week. No one wants to give up a day’s pay, particularly when household finances are so squeezed, to send a message to political leaders. The scale of the industrial action planned for Thursday is a testament to the strength of feeling across our society. Enough is enough.
“The SDLP stands squarely behind the trade union movement and ordinary workers who deserve better than this farce. That’s why we have signed the motion to recall the Assembly this week and it’s why we will be there again to play our part as an opposition to the failed politics at Stormont.
“We will also engage with the Secretary of State today to press him to deliver the money to address public sector pay pressures that the Treasury and Northern Ireland Office have already agreed to fund. Punishing workers for the failure the DUP is an unacceptable position.
“There are two people who can take immediate action to meet the reasonable demands of workers - Jeffrey Donaldson and Chris Heaton Harris. It is time to set politics aside and to work together in the interests of the people we all represent.”