Said Cllr Harkin: “We commend Derry dockers for staying strong and winning their demands following strike action. They should be proud of what they achieved. Everyone in the city should be proud of the dockers victory.
“By staying united and braving freezing weather on the picket line, UNITE members at Burke Shipping Services and Foyle Port made gains on pay parity and a wage increase.
“This was a strike that should never have been necessary. The demands made by workers were very modest but employer intransigence gave them no option but to take action.
“The attempt to portray workers negatively by employers raises serious questions about public accountability when Council support is sought to become a ‘Free Port’.
“It also raises questions about Derry City and Strabane Councillors having paid positions as part of the Foyle Port Commission.
“People Before Profit activists were on the picket line everyday of the strike and we successfully put forward a motion winning the Council to take a clearcut position in support of the strike and trade union demands.
“We will be demanding the Council make clear there should be no victimisation of workers and the trade union following the end of the dispute.
“Dockers and other workers have been told throughout the pandemic that they play a critical role as key, frontline and essential workers.
“Trade unions are now demanding this is translated into improved wages and conditions for workers across all sectors.
“That employers and the Stormont Executive aren’t automatically backing these demands points up the problem of an economy catering to elites where the gap between the least well-off and those at the top has skyrocketed.
“Workers across Derry, across the North and across Ireland should take confidence and example from the resilience of Foyle Port dockers.
“This is what will need to happen if we are to ensure health workers, Council workers, Education support workers and all others begin to be treated with dignity, respect and more economic equality.
“No one should be told they should wait for better days.
“This is the time to use solidarity and action to challenge poverty pay,” added the Derry councillor.Tags: