Socialist Worker

Firefighters organised to get strikes back on, now call more action to win

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2377

Firefighters and supporters in Wigan during a strike in September

Firefighters and supporters in Wigan during a strike in September (Pic: Barry Conway)


Firefighters in England and Wales were set to walk out twice this week after the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced further strike dates.

The union has said that firefighters will strike over Tory attacks on their pensions on Friday of this week from 6.30pm to 11pm. 

They plan a further walkout on Monday of next week from 6am to 8am. 

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

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

“The position of the employer hasn’t changed on anything since the union called off the strike. It begs a question, why call it off in the first place?” 

The strikes were put back on after angry rank and file union members put pressure on union officials.

The South West Area put a motion calling for a 24-hour strike which was passed unanimously by London FBU members. 

Members from across Britain also met unofficially on Thursday of last week to discuss a strategy to push for more strikes in the union.

“These new strikes are partly because the government hasn’t budged,” said Neale.

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

The second strike will coincide with a planned national strike by post workers. 

Neale said, “It would be brilliant if we could link up with the post workers, visit each others’ picket lines and show solidarity.

 “We have to do what we can to make these strikes a success. But we will need more of them to win.” 


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