Socialist Worker

Firefighters' FBU union calls a strike to stop Tory attacks on pensions

Issue No. 2371

Firefighters protesting in London earlier this year

Firefighters protesting in London earlier this year (Pic: Socialist Worker)


The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called a four-hour strike on Wednesday of next week in England and Wales in protest at attacks on firefighters’ pensions. 

Workers will walk out from noon to 4pm.

Simon Hickman is an FBU rep at Agecroft Fire Station in Greater Manchester. He told Socialist Worker, “The firefighters I spoke to wanted sustained action. 

“If we went out for eight days it’ll affect most members equally and make it difficult to cover. 

“It’s the only way we’ll beat the strike breakers.”

The union said that Scotland won’t be included in the strike. 

Simon said that is “disappointing” because the pension attack is “a national issue”.

FBU members voted by 78 percent for strikes at the start of this month.

The Tories want to make firefighters work until they are 60—and be able to sack them before then if they are no longer fit to work. 

If a worker is forced out of the job at 55, they could lose around half of their pension.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said the union had been left with no choice but call periods of strikes.

The FBU could later link up with other unions that plan to strike, such as the CWU, NUT and NASUWT.

Simon said, “If we could link up with other strikers, that would be fantastic. But if not, we are more than prepared to strike on our own.”


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Tue 17 Sep 2013, 16:06 BST
Issue No. 2371
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