Announcing details of the 2023 May Day march and rally organized by the NI Committee of ICTU and hosted by Belfast & District Trades Council, ICTU Assistant General Secretary Gerry Murphy said
Every trade unionist across these islands, and many outside our movement, have been inspired and encouraged by the wisdom and clarity offered by RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch. In a series of media interviews which became internet phenomena, Mick ignored attempts to sideline the justified demands of his members by trivial and stereotypical questioning, and instead outlined their just cause for decent pay and working conditions with style and wit.
By doing so, Mick has assisted trade union representatives from every sector of our economy and society to explain with clarity why so many working people are taking the principled and initially costly decision to vote for strike action. Unions are going on strike who have never previously found themselves forced into doing so. For example, three days before our May Day celebration, we are hosting a strike rally at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday 26th April for striking teachers and civil servants. These strikes follow ballots of members passed with large majorities, including for the first time ever the National Association of Head Teachers. Eight trade unions plan to strike that day, and this can be added to ongoing disputes in our NHS, local government and universities and colleges. In recent months, we have seen strike action being successful in gaining better pay settlements for workers across the private and public sector.
This rally will also feature local speakers involved in industrial action across our economy, and will act as a rallying cry for better workers rights and collective bargaining structures so that all workers can benefit from trade union membership and the power that derives from taking action together across the negotiation table and, when needed, on the picket line.
Everyone, in unions or not, are encouraged to join us on the March to Belfast City Hall to hear these speakers and be part of a huge celebration of the collective power of working people.
Saturday 29th April 2023
12 noon – March Assembles in Donegall St (Writers Square/ UU College of Art Gardens)
12:30 – March off via Royal Avenue
13:00 – Rally at Belfast City Hall