McCann calls on electoral workers to strike while the Brexit hammer is hot

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People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann has called on electoral office workers in Londonderry and in other offices threatened with closure across Northern Ireland to strike during the EU referendum poll and count.

He said the critical Brexit count on Thursday and Friday was an “opportunity for the Electoral Office workers to press home their point with the British authorities.”

Eamonn McCann, MLA.

Eamonn McCann, MLA.

Speaking during an Assembly debate on the proposed closure of local offices He said: “Were they to decide - I urge them from this place so to decide - to take industrial action on that day, would that not do more to bring attention to the validity of their case than anything that might be said or done in the House?

“A nil-all result in the European referendum would be a big win for the Electoral Office workers and for all of us.”

Back in April, the Sentinel reported how trade union representatives were considering industrial action in the run up to the Assembly and Brexit polls as one possible response to a management proposal to close the Londonderry electoral office.

NIPSA recently suspended proposed strike action, which has been scheduled for June 13 “to allow for a meeting with the First and Deputy First Ministers to take place to press for the Assembly to take responsibility for electoral services in Northern Ireland.”

Meanwhile, Derry City and Strabane District Council has confirmed that the Foyle Arena will close to facilitate the EU Referendum.

A spokesperson confirmed: “To facilitate the forthcoming EU Referendum, the Foyle Arena at St Columb’s Park, will close for a period this week.

Users of the Foyle Arena are being advised that the facility will be closed from 14.00hrs on Wednesday, June 22 until 09.00hrs on Friday, June 24.

“The public are being encouraged to use the Council’s other leisure facilities across the Council area including Templemore Sports Centre, Brooke Park Leisure Centre and City Baths, Derry; Melvin Leisure Centre and Riversdale Leisure Centre, Strabane and Derg Valley, Castlederg, during this period.

“Further details on the election is available on the Electoral Office website at www.eoni.org.uk.

“Foyle Arena users are also advised that both its pools will be closed on Tuesday, June 28 from 09.30 – 15.30 hrs for routine maintenance. The steam room and sauna will remain open as normal.

“For further information please contact the Foyle Arena on 028 7137 6555.”