As of 3rd August, workers at both the Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall have commenced industrial action to keep both venues within Belfast City Council. The action is supported by the three trade unions – NIPSA, Unite and SIPTU – who represent the overwhelming majority of workers at the two venues. Facilities and workers are threatened with being transferred to an arms-length management company.
Workers are deeply concerned with jobs, terms and conditions the provision of public services for the whole community. They are angry that for 18 months there was little to no communication with them on this issue. The strength of feeling is reflected in the result of the ballot, with 80%, 85% and 100% of workers in the three unions respectively voting for both strike action and action short of strike action.
The Waterfront Hall and Ulster Hall must remain in public ownership and be strategically managed with full involvement of workers and be well resourced and developed for the entire community. If the politicians want to serve the interests of those they represent, then keeping these venues in-house in Belfast City Council is the only option which guarantees this.