Socialist Worker

Firefighters' union announces two further strike dates

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2376

Firefighters protest against Tory attacks on their pensions

Firefighters protest against Tory attacks on their pensions (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced today, Friday, two further strike dates for firefighters in England and Wales

The union has said that firefighters will walk out over Tory attacks on their pensions for half a day on 1 November from 6.30pm to 11pm. They will then strike again on 4 November from 6am to 8am. 

The announcement follows the decision made by the union’s executive council (EC) to call off a planned half day walk out that was due to take place on 18 October. 

“It’s really good that the strikes are back on” Neale Williams, chair of FBU Dowgate branch in South London, told Socialist Worker. 

Many firefighters were furious with the decision to cancel the strike and four members out of 16 on the EC opposed the decision to call it off. 

Neale said, “The position of the employer hasn’t change on anything since the union called off the strike, so it begs a question, why call it off in the first place?" 

After the decision to call of the strike, the South West Area put a motion calling for a 24 hour strike which was passed unanimously by London FBU members.

“These new strikes are partly because the government hasn’t budged, but importantly they are because of the pressure on the union from regions like London calling for more action" said Neale. 

“It is a response to the call to fight by FBU rank and file members.” 

Last night firefighters came from different regions around the country to an unofficial meeting held in Leeds to build support around the motion calling for a 24 hour strike. 

“There was recognition that we need more strikes to win” said Neale, “and that any further strikes called should not be cancelled. 

“There was also recognition that we need more open meetings to draw in a network of activists in the rank and file to argue for strikes in the individual brigades.” 

The second strike day, on the morning of 4 November, will also coincide with the national strike by postal workers. 

“It would be brilliant if we could link up with the post workers and get people down to each others picket lines to show solidarity that we are all in it together” said Neale. 

“Strikes are what bring people together to talk about a strategy for the way forward. We have to do what they can to make these strikes a success, but we will need more of them to win.”

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