Socialist Worker

South Yorkshire firefighters could strike

Issue No. 2183

Strikes by fire crews in South Yorkshire could be back on after FBU union members rejected a deal on new shifts recommended by union negotiators.

FBU members were this week facing individual consultations which could see them fired and re-employed on different terms and conditions after fire service bosses gave the union 48 hours to reconsider their position with a deadline of 5pm last Friday.

Further discussions were being held as Socialist Worker went to press.

Strike action was suspended in November for negotiations.

These continued locally after both sides failed to agree the terms of reference.

But FBU members rejected new shifts of 11-hour days and 13-hour nights proposed by managers and recommended by union negotiators. They now want third party intervention as they don’t trust South Yorkshire bosses.

The dispute has been going on for 18 months and saw firefighters walk out on strike seven times in October last year.

Fire chiefs wanted crews to switch to four 12-hour shifts, rather than the two nine-hour days and two 15-hour night. The strike ballot is still live and there is no need to reballot.

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Tue 5 Jan 2010, 18:00 GMT
Issue No. 2183
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