Socialist Worker

Fire strikes suspended in South Yorkshire

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2186

Firefighters in South Yorkshire have suspended the eight days of strikes they had planned from tomorrow (Wednesday) after an offer of talks.

The 700 firefighters in the FBU union are fighting against bosses’ threats to sack them all if they refuse to work worse shift patterns.

Bosses had already partially backed down, suspending the sackings in return for the union calling off strikes on Sunday and Monday.

Now the union has suspended all the strikes after fire authority bosses agreed to talks at joint secretaries arbitration.

There is no doubt that it is the massive pressure created by the strikes so far and the threat of more that has forced the bosses to do that.

FBU reps spent all day today (Tuesday) meeting to decide their next move.

Many firefighters felt that the strikes should go ahead despite the offer of talks as the bosses had shown they couldn’t be trusted.

The firefighters struck for seven days in October last year.

They were overwhelmed by the solidarity from across the country. Some 1,800 came to a national march in Barnsley.

Their strike became a national focus for the FBU, inspiring firefighters battling cuts across the country.

But the strikes were called off for talks—which collapsed before they even got started, after bosses tried to impose preconditions.

If that happens this time around then the strikes must be put back on—straight away.

The union should set a deadline for a successful outcome. And if the bosses don’t meet it then the action must begin.


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News
Tue 26 Jan 2010, 19:23 GMT
Issue No. 2186
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