Watch: Union whistle-blower revealed at Craigavon

About 80 people turned out for a good natured picket line at Craigavon Area Hospital in Portadown in protest at planned cuts.

There was plenty of support from passing motorists to the lines of strikers waving flags and blowing whistles at the Lurgan Road roundabout.

Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by strike action

Public services in Northern Ireland are being disrupted by strike action

Motorists beeped their horns enthusiastically, and an ambulance and fire appliance both blared sirens in support as they passed by.

Unite and Unison brought a cardboard cut-out David Cameron, a inflatable pub - serving tea and coffee - and a barbecue.

With the prime minister’s facsimile flopping over due to a weak neck, the News Letter asked strikers to hold him up for a video clip.

Bouncing his head back and forward, one wag countered “he is far more flexible on pay than the real David Cameron”.

Des Gourley, Craigavon Area Hospital spokesman for trade union unite said they were feeling increasing pressures year on year which he feared would reach crisis point.

“It is like any workplace,” he said. “You are having to fill in the gaps, work harder, work later, it is harder to get leave, there is less people about to do the things that need to be done on a day to day basis and in the long term each year seems to get slightly worse. So at some point you could reach a crisis, so it is up to people in the health service and in other public sectors to be able to say that they don’t want that to happen.”

Deputy SDLP leader and local MLA Dolores Kelly saw no contradiction in her party’s support for the recent Stormont House Agreement and appearing to support the picket line.

“the SDLP has been the only party that has voted against the [Stormont] budget of austerity measures in recognition of the austerity measures that have been contained within it,” she said. “There was no imaginative thinking within that budget and certainly there is no programme of government even attached yet to that budget for the next financial year.”