Socialist Worker

Firefighter: ‘Let me be a parent and worker’

Issue No. 2171

Many young workers brought their children to the protest.

Garry, a firefighter from South Yorkshire, and his partner Shelly were there with their son.

Holding a placard declaring, “Let me be a parent and a firefighter”, Garry said, “The new shifts mean that instead of nine-hour days and 15-hour nights, we will be working 12-hour day and night shifts.

“During the day that could mean 8am to 8pm. I won’t get to see my son.”

Shelly said, “I go to work at five in the morning, and can never guarantee when I finish.

“We have already organised our lives around our shifts. But now I have to find a nursery willing to keep my son until 8pm at night.

“The nursery already costs £40 a day. It will be impossible.

“As most firefighters are young, they also have young families. So all of us will be affected.”

Garry said, “These changes will destroy our family time. It will become a nightmare shift.”

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Tue 29 Sep 2009, 18:27 BST
Issue No. 2171
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