Socialist Worker

South Yorkshire firefighters vote to accept deal

Issue No. 2192

South Yorkshire firefighters have accepted a deal after almost after two years in dispute.

FBU union members voted 93 percent yes to the deal on a 78 percent turnout.

Brigade chair Graham Wilkinson told Socialist Worker, “The brigade committee didn’t think it was a good enough deal—but we put it out to the members as a consultative ballot with no recommendation either way.”

With no recommendation to refuse, it is hardly surprising that the workers voted yes to the deal.

They have seen strikes called off twice—once after six days of action last year and again this year before they even got out the door.

The firefighters will start their new 11-hour day shifts and 13-hour nights on 1 April.

Firefighters say these are worse than the 9‑hour days and 15-hour nights they had before—but not as bad as the 12-hour days and nights the bosses wanted.

While the bosses have not won, the union could have got more had it kept up the action.

A firefighter who was suspended during the South Yorkshire strikes for allegedly posting messages on Facebook has been reinstated following appeal.

He will return to work with full back pay.

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Tue 9 Mar 2010, 18:45 GMT
Issue No. 2192
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