Belfast City Hall rally unites trade union members

  • 22 Sep 2023

Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, addressed members and sister unions at the rally calling for better pay and jobs.

Striking workers including journalists and public sector workers gathered this afternoon at Belfast City Hall to rally for fair pay, decent jobs and public services. Organised by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), members gathered in solidarity with placards and banners to demand change.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, addressed workers, reminding them of the need to “stand together in the face of those who seek to divide us.”

He said:

“Thank you also for your support for the ongoing NUJ campaign to save BBC local radio. Thanks to a great trade union campaign we ensured no redundancies at BBC Radio Foyle and have sent a strong message to BBC management.

“Our current dispute at National World is of vital importance not just because it is about pay and conditions but because it is part of our campaign to save local news.

“National World may mean little to you but you will know the papers here in the North which are part of this vast stable. It includes some of the best known and most significance titles in the media landscape.”

Dooley shared that The Belfast Newsletter was founded in 1737, making it the oldest English language newspaper in the world. The Derry Journal was founded in 1772.

National World journalists are on strike today, with further action planned on 25 September as they urge the publisher to return to negotiations with an improved pay package members can accept. The company’s imposed 4.5 per cent offer has left many journalists in financial difficulty with some forced to consider second jobs.

In July, journalists passed a vote of no confidence in David Montgomery, National World chairman. Addressing action Montgomery must take, Dooley said:

“Well Mr Montgomery, you can start by abandoning the archaic industrial practice of treating workers with contempt, with forcing low paid workers to accept pay increases which bear no reality to the cost of living and by developing a management culture which treats workers with dignity and respect.”

Information on picket locations and times can be found at


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