BIRMINGHAM: Members of the FBU and other trade unionists lobbied the appeal by FBU activist Steve Godward in Birmingham last week against his sacking. The union sees what has happened to Steve, who also stood as a Socialist Alliance candidate at the general election, as a clear case of victimisation. The procedure at the appeal confirmed that. It found Steve guilty and jumped straight to upholding his sacking without even hearing the mitigation.
Embarrassed employers' representatives had to backtrack and adjourn announcing their final decision for three weeks. There is little doubt, however, that they want to drive Steve out of the fire service. Union activists are calling for action to defend Steve. National union leaders have maintained since the start of the dispute that it will not be settled if any union member remains victimised.
HAMPSHIRE: The campaign to reinstate sacked FBU activist Simon Green in Hampshire is gathering pace. Simon was sacked under 'capability procedures' which will become endemic across the fire service if the employers get their way. A union meeting at Simon's station in Basingstoke attracted support from across the brigade on Tuesday.
A mass meeting of FBU members in Hampshire was planned for Thursday of this week, to be addressed by FBU general secretary Andy Gilchrist. The Hampshire FBU committee is to consider calling for a strike ballot over Simon's sacking and local capability procedures at the end of next week.
MANCHESTER: The Stalybridge branch of Manchester FBU called on Monday for the reinstatement of Bob Pounder, who has been suspended by the union from his position as secretary of the FBU in the city. Moss Side branch has also come out in support of Bob. He was disciplined by the union's executive for speaking out against it calling off strikes before Christmas.
There was applause also at the 100-strong meeting of local FBU officials last week when speakers raised Bob's case. He now faces a hearing at the FBU executive on Monday 17 February and is calling for a supportive lobby.
THE Scottish region of the FBU has called a demonstration in Glasgow for Saturday 1 February. The march has the backing of the STUC and assembles at 12 noon (venue to be announced).
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