Translink Workers Strike

Unite and GMB Members on pickets at bus yards in Belfast 1 December 2023

0%. That’s the pay increase Translink are ‘giving’ their workers in another year of cost-of-living increases and price hikes. They’re right to strike! 75% returned their ballot and 95% said yes to strike.

People Before Profit stands with the workers. Full solidarity and support to all the striking transportation workers, drivers and engineers. We’re on the pickets across the north today. Transport strikers in Abellio-TFL in the UK got a 16% increase in February: that’s a real-terms increase our workers need here. It’s what all workers deserve to make up for cost of living increases and changes to how the job works.

Many workers are seeing duty changes making the job harder, adding hours onto their day and making family time and timetables more variable and volatile. Staffing levels have just begun to match pre-pandemic levels. Cost of living increases to workers on modest normal salaries mean real terms pay cuts for these workers. It’s not on. They deserve better pay. And they should mount bigger, more extended strikes to get it.

Strikes work and have done more to unite the people here than years of failed limp Stormont power-sharing which has led to cuts to for all workers and given the Tories through the DUP the power to shut down pay increases for all.

Strikers know that today’s united industrial action demonstrates that it’s not the DUP or the Tories who ultimately set the timelines – it’s workers.

Back-to-back days of strike action. Spreading the strikes by coordinating strike action force the impasse to break. We need longer, more coordinated, bigger strikes. 

Today’s united Unite-GMB-SIPTU strike day is a fantastic example of working solidarity. We also see school bus drivers out on the same day as education workers today, too. The Education Workers concurrent strike shows that we can have a more widespread strike in more workplaces to breaking the Stormont/Tory roadblocks. 

Strikes prove working people are not a political football nor are we fans of one side or the other- we have a side and we are playing to win a new future that works for workers without the Tories or the DUP blocking the way with sectarian politics or the hopeless economics of austerity.

What can supporters do?

  • Get down to the pickets and visit to show your support
  • Talk about the strike and stand up for the strikers in conversations and on social media
  • Organise a fundraiser
  • Get active in your union and put forward a motion of solidarity with the strikers

Union members in transport in the UK see our Translink as jewel because it’s one of the few remaining publicly owned transport companies and it operates across the north keeping important (but less profitable) routes running.

But the Tory agenda remains to privatise everything, even the public transport we need for a real sustainable future. We need to defend this like we fight for all public services. There’s money for war so we know there’s money for people. Well done to the bus and rail strikers. They are showing the way to fight back. We are with them.