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World News January 23, 2024

Northern Ireland grinds to a halt over public pay dispute

A 24-hour strike by the majority of public sector workers in Northern Ireland, described as the largest in a generation, has caused widespread disruptions. Schools are closed, transport services halted, and icy roads lack grit. The strike of around 170,000 nurses, teachers, and other workers comes as a response to the absence of pay increases amid high inflation and the collapse of the region’s power-sharing government in 2022. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) faces increased pressure to resolve its two-year protest over post-Brexit trade rules. Public pay has increased in the rest of the UK, and the British government promised funds for pay rises if power-sharing resumes. The strike coincides with a yellow weather warning for ice, urging essential travel only, as road service staff, among those striking for a week, limit gritting. The health service advises precautions, warning of potential disruptions to services. The DUP insists on further concessions regarding trade rules before returning to government, while the Good Friday peace accord mandates power-sharing between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists.

Source – CGTN

Photo Credit – Reuters

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