Socialist Worker

Firefighters' conference: 'We need fight on pay and jobs'

by Jaz Thomas, FBU Avon
Issue No. 2152

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) conference took place in Scarborough last week.

One of the main issues facing firefighters is the fact that the employers have made no pay offer as yet.

Many in the rest of the public sector have been offered 0.5 percent. It is likely we will be offered the same.

Since our pay deal in 2003 we have to negotiate pay every year, and we have seen our pay reduced in real terms.

Because of this the conference called for delegates to go back to their brigades and discuss with members the possibility of industrial action to get back what we have lost over the past three years.

Anti-fascist work was also high on the agenda at conference.

Conference heard about the work going on around the country to stop the fascist British National Party, and the subject was raised at fringe meetings.

The union is still bitterly opposed to the setting up of regional control centres, which will impact on safety.

There is a lobby of parliament over the issue in October but many delegates felt that there should be more direct action to change government policy.

Delegates voted to confirm our support for the union’s disaffiliation from the Labour Party.

The year ahead is going to see the FBU fighting on several fronts, the most important being regional control and pay.

The FBU needs to oppose the job losses that our control reps are facing.

Firefighters face a pay freeze and cuts to our service, which will hurt the general public.

The FBU must fight on pay and jobs. That fight must start now.


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Article information

News
Tue 19 May 2009, 19:01 BST
Issue No. 2152
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