Socialist Worker

Mass pickets to the bitter end

Issue No. 2225

Greeting scabs at Southwark  (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Greeting scabs at Southwark (Pic: Socialist Worker)


The firefighters’ strike ended at 6pm last Saturday—but the mass picketing continued late into the night.

Around 200 firefighters and supporters turned out a “welcoming committee” as scabs tried to get engines back into the fire brigade’s Southwark Training Centre in south London.

The pickets ran into the road and surrounded the fire engines, bellowing “Scab! Scab!”

“You’re doing Coleman’s dirty work,” shouted one picket. “People will die because of you scum,” cried another.

The scabs inside the training centre building fuelled the firefighters’ fury by frequently appearing at the window making crude gestures.

Facing the scabs, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said, “I’ve got a message for all the people looking out of the windows up there.”

“Scab, scab, scab,” chanted the crowd towards the building.

Wrack added, “Clear off out of London and don’t come back next week.”

A massive cheer went up at this.

One picket summed it up when he shouted, “No scab will ever get through here without a fight.”


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