Workers at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council have set a date for strike action in their row with management over pay and conditions.

Meeting today, a strike committee, made up for four unions, Unite, GMB, NIPSA and SIPTU, agreed that action will take place in early December

Staff representatives in a statement following the meeting said they “regretted” that this action is to take place.

This dispute could be readily resolved if the Chief Executive of the Council, Marie Ward, engages with the unions but she has reneged on her responsibility by not meeting directly with the union representatives and dealing with the workers concerns.

said a joint-union press statement.

In the statement the unions issued a warning that although they did not wish to disrupt the lives of the community, in the run up to the Christmas period, they were intent on escalating the action in the New Year.

Council workers are aware that Covid-19 has made 2020 a really hard year for the community in Newry, Mourne and Down. It is with regret that we are being forced to take this action in order to improve our pay and protect our terms and conditions.

Although there will be limited action in December, our members will be escalating the dispute if the issues are not resolved, in January 2021.

It is in the management’s hands to resolve this dispute.