Speaking after a spontaneous act of protest and solidarity by Translink workers at Belfast City Hall, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Owen Reidy commented:

8 Apr 2021

“The trade union movement entirely supports this protest by our public transport workers. Theirs is an act of generosity towards their fellow bus driver who was shockingly attacked last evening and a towards the brave police officers and journalists who were also assaulted while doing their job and serving the community. Workers across Northern Ireland will not accept being the subject of attacks when going about their duties. The Translink workers are standing up and proclaiming this loudly.

“This has to stop and it has to stop now. All public representatives from across the community and every person of goodwill and influence in interface areas have to make clear that all such protests end before we have another night of violence. Young people are being treated as cannon fodder. Someone is going to get killed. The best public service any decent person of influence can do right now is to prevent the spiral deepening. Politicians need to come together, work together and make politics work in the interest of the entire community.”

NIC-ICTU chair Alison Millar, who is also the leader of NI’s largest public sector union NIPSA, added:

“This morning, the debris from last evening is being swept up by public servants from all communities. Health workers are treating the wounds of injured police officers and a transport worker. Social workers, teachers and community support staff are dealing with the aftermath among young people caught up in the chaos. The bus workers in Translink, like many are essential workers and have stepped up to the mark during this pandemic. What matters now is that all of those workers get the support of all public representatives and that real leadership is displayed.”