Socialist Worker

Protest demands reinstatement of firefighter Sian Griffiths

Issue No. 2228

Sian Griffiths (centre) on the protest

Sian Griffiths (centre) on the protest

Some 50 firefighters and their supporters lobbied a London fire authority meeting today over the suspension of firefighter Sian Griffiths.

Sian, who was one of the first women firefighters recruited in Britain, was suspended last week after bosses accused her of “bullying” a strike-breaker.

But the firefighter of 26 years and prominent FBU union activist has not been told what the actual allegation is, or who made the complaint. She has received hundreds of messages of support since her suspension.

Women firefighters from across the capital joined the lobby, as well as some male colleagues and groups from the SERTUC women’s rights committee and the FBU’s national women’s committee.

They held placards reading “reinstate Sian” and leafleted fire authority members going into the meeting.

Sian then spoke to the crowd. She said, “The support I’ve been shown has been absolutely incredible.

“I’ve been suspended—I’m not sure why because nobody’s told me what I’m supposed to have done.

“I dared to speak up, comply with the FBU’s official action and support the firefighters… and this is what happens to me.

“Yet there’s a manager who on a strike day, ran somebody over, was arrested, and has not been suspended. That is not fair. All I want is fairness.

“It’s really brilliant to see the women here, and friends, ex-colleagues and colleagues from other unions as well.

“This dispute is not over. We want to make sure that firefighters get what’s right.”

Sian Griffiths must be reinstated immediately.

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