ABC Council strike paused for fresh talks

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Planned industrial action at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has been paused to allow fresh talks.

More than 1,000 council staff had been due to go on strike from 10 August in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Officials from the GMB, Unite and Nipsa trade unions met with councillors and Upper Bann assembly member Doug Beattie on Thursday.

The talks between the unions and the council will be facilitated by the Labour Relations Agency.

Alan Perry, GMB regional organiser, said: "We are hopeful these new talks will lead to meaningful shifts from management. As such, we have paused our strike action."

He said workers needed fair pay to cope with the cost of living crisis.

A council spokesperson said: "Elected members and council management welcome this positive development, and remain committed to further meaningful discussions with all trade unions in the days ahead.

"Our aim has always been to reach a satisfactory resolution for all staff, residents and businesses of the borough."

Council services such as refuse, planning and leisure would have been affected if the action had gone ahead.