‘Meet the Team’ Belfast City Council Organising Committee
After many weeks in preparation, SIPTU’s Belfast City Council Organising Committee has launched its first major campaign, ‘Meet the Team’.
The group, headed by SIPTU Belfast City Council union convenor Anthony McDonald, has been working tirelessly to build and consolidate membership and to reinvigorate a section that has been an institution within SIPTU locally since the 1970s.
The committee organised a day in Belfast’s City Hall for members and would-be members to meet up and discuss the cost-of-living crisis, currently the most pressing concern for workers.
Community advice workers — many of whom were also members of SIPTU — were on hand on 21st February and 31st March to answer questions on a range of issues, including work, pay, bills, benefits, and work-life balance.
Northern Ireland District Official Niall McNally told Liberty: “This section committee is the epitome of organising in action. They meet regularly to map areas in the council underserved by unions, send out a regularly-updated newsletter keeping members briefed on what is happening in the Council, and addressing issues that are of the highest importance to our membership.”
He added: “Being on the ground and being seen by members organising and advocating on their behalf is the greatest way to ensure workers know that SIPTU is working with them and for them.”
The section includes shop stewards in most of the major sectors within the Council — community, corporate, waste management, civic engagement, as well as parks and tourism. The section committee also took time out before the event to join thousands of fellow workers who had descended on Belfast city centre to take part in a rally organised by striking health workers and teachers.
Three marches from different hospitals, and many schools met together at Belfast City Hall.
Darren Trowlen, a SIPTU Belfast City Council activist, said: “It’s about time all workers, whether they work in the private or public sectors, organised together to fight to improve living standards and to defend services for all people.”
The sector committee will keep members fully briefed on the ‘Meet the Team’ campaign and other initiatives throughout this coming year of action for workers.