Socialist Worker

Brian Coleman's real views on firefighters

Issue No. 2230

Tory Brian Coleman made clear the fire bosses’ view of the FBU in a newspaper interview last week.

He said, “The union are a thoroughly unpleasant and nasty lot. Most of the union officials, if they had half a brain cell, they’d be dangerous.

“Most of them are thick, can’t string a sentence together and frankly are incoherent. We have to break the FBU frankly because they are not a union operating in the interests of their members…

“They’ve been a block to modernisation right along the line.”

Following arbitration at the RAP panel, London’s firefighters are to vote on two “offers” to end their dispute—and they should reject both.

The first would see firefighters work a 10.5-hour day shift and a 13.5-hour night shift—with strings.

The second deal is for an even worse 11-hour day and 13-hour night shift, though this has fewer strings.

The FBU is recommending the first option. Both deals are far worse than the current safe system of a nine-hour day and a 15-hour night.

FBU members need to vote to reject the false choices presented to them in the ballot—and increase the pressure to get the strikes back on. That would be the way to throw Coleman’s insults back in his face, and to win the fight.

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