Socialist Worker

London firefighters vote 95 percent yes for industrial action

Issue No. 2219

Firefighters protest in London yesterday.  (Pic: http://www.valeriostheofanidis.infoValerios Theofanidis )

Firefighters protest in London yesterday. (Pic: Valerios Theofanidis)


Firefighters in London today (Friday) overwhelmingly voted yes in their ballot for industrial action short of a strike.

The FBU union members voted 95 percent for the action—4,014 votes to 201—on a 76 percent turnout.

“This overwhelming vote demonstrates the strength of feeling among London’s firefighters,” said FBU general secretary Matt Wrack.

London’s firefighters are raging at bosses’ threats to sack every one of them in order to force through new contracts that the union says would mean cuts to night-time fire cover.

The FBU can now call industrial action short of a strike, which could include an overtime ban, a ban on “acting up”, and withdrawal of goodwill so that firefighters only do the duties they are contracted to do.

The ballot result comes the day after the firefighters held a mass march of more than 3,000, which laid siege to their bosses’ fire authority meeting.

And at the end of the protest yesterday the union gave formal notice that it has called a full strike ballot, which will begin next Thursday, 23 September.


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