Socialist Worker

Resist the cuts in the fire service

Issue No. 2161

Fire authority bosses are planning a series of cuts in front line posts in one of the biggest attacks on the fire service.

In some instances this will cut down the number of firefighters on fire engines, imposing 12 hour shifts and cutting the officer who oversees the safety of those who go into burning buildings.

The cut in this post comes after a number of firefighters have been killed trying to tackle blazes. The post was set up in response to a string of deaths.

The attacks come as it has been revealed that London Fire Brigade has signed a contract with the debt-ridden company AssetCo to provide strike breakers in the event of any dispute.


This role was normally given to the army, but with many of the forces now fighting in Afghanistan, the private firm has been brought in.

The London Fire Brigade claims that this is standard practice to provide emergency cover during any dispute.

According to a statement from the FBU union, the £12million contract from the London Fire Brigade will become a blueprint for a national agreement. FBU regional official, Paul Embery, describes AssetCo as a “ragbag collection of Dad’s Army blacklegs”. This deal is part of ongoing plans for a head on confrontation with the the union.

Essex Fire Authority bosses have walked out of talks with the FBU after only six minutes.

The talks were scheduled to discuss plans by the authority to slash 44 front line posts among emergency crews.

The FBU is warning that the cuts will put people’s lives in danger. The union put forward an alternative plan to save the jobs, while launching a ballot for action short of strike.

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Tue 21 Jul 2009, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2161
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