Firefighters struck across
At Southwark Fire Station in south
“But the government’s own research shows that many firefighters won’t be able to work until they’re 60. Some 60 year olds can swim the
The government’s Williams Report estimated that, in the worst case scenario, 85 percent of firefighters would be unfit to work at 55 years of age. If a firefighter was forced to retire at 55 they would lose half their pension. Effectively the Tory plans are a raid on firefighters’ pensions.
FBU member Tim Marchant walked out in central
Firefighters won huge support for their walkout. Trade unionists and campaigners visited picket lines to show solidarity. In Southwark, passing teachers taking children on a trip told strikers, “All the best” and “Well done”. Another worker brought a group of primary school children from nearby Charles Dickens school to say hello to the strikers.
Almost 300 firefighters from across south Wales gathered in Cardiff for a march on the Welsh Assembly to lobby the Welsh government. They were joined by supporters from PCS Wales and Revenue and Customs south Wales branch.
Edd Rodgers was striking at
Around 100 drivers on London Underground refused to take trains out because of safety concerns. Steve Hedley is assistant general secretary of the drivers’ RMT union. He told Socialist Worker, “The action has affected the Piccadilly,
“It will go on throughout the firefighters’ strike and it will impact on services. During the Kings Cross fire in 1987, and during fires ever since, firefighters have risked their lives to save passengers and staff on London Underground. We don’t see why people doing a socially-useful job should be attacked. I fully support firefighters’ right to retire at 55 on a full pension after a lifetime of heroism.”
Today’s strike should be the start of a hard-hitting campaign of action that can smash the Tories’ attacks. As Simon from Southwark put it, “I personally think the union should be escalating. I think FBU members are up for a fight.”