Northern Ireland news

Workers strike at six electoral offices across north

Striking electoral workers and Nipsa representatives in Omagh, Co Tyrone. Picture from Nipsa

WORKERS at six regional electoral offices went on strike yesterday in protest at closure plans.

Offices in Ballymena, Banbridge, Derry, Newtownabbey, Newtownards and Omagh are due to close in October, with services centralised in Belfast.

Public sector workers' union Nipsa has warned that jobs will be lost and elections will be affected.

Workers who are members of Nipsa took part in yesterday's strike.

The largest protest was in Omagh, Co Tyrone, where Nipsa members attending their annual conference in Enniskillen arrived to support striking colleagues.

Nipsa official Dooley Harte said it is vital the offices remain open.

"The support shown today by politicians and the public shows substantial opposition to the proposals to close offices," he said.

"Services must be retained to ensure all communities can actively participate in our democracy.

"Nipsa has written today to the Secretary of State seeking an urgent meeting seeking her personal intervention in order to protect services and agree a resolution to this dispute.”

Further strikes are due to take place on Tuesday and on Monday June 13.

Tuesday is the final day voters can register for the forthcoming EU referendum.

Nipsa said last night it plans to launch further strikes, possibly including June 23, the day of the referendum.

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