By Rebecca Black (PA)
Three more days of strikes by public transport workers in Northern Ireland are set to take place in a row over pay.
A strike last Friday saw bus and rail services halted across the region, making a significant impact in the run up to Christmas.
Further strikes will take place on Friday December 15, Saturday December 16 and Friday December 22 during some of the busiest days of the year for festive shopping and the hospitality trade.
Trade unions Unite, GMB and Siptu said their members voted in favour of the strike over what they have described as a “pay freeze” which amounts to a real-terms pay cut during a cost-of-living crisis.
They have called for Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris to intervene while the Stormont Executive remains collapsed and make pay awards to workers.
People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll backed the calls for Mr Heaton-Harris to intervene.
“Public transport workers should not have to take strike in the mouth of Christmas. A proper pay rise is the least they deserve for the crucial service they provide,” he said.
“The British Government has the power to avert this strike and any disruption it might cause by intervening and resolving this pay dispute. I commend those transport workers taking strike action against a real-terms pay cut and cuts to our public services.”