Socialist Worker

Firefighters to strike on 10 July alongside up to 1.4 million other workers

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2410

Firefighters protesting against austerity on last months Peoples Assembly demo

Firefighters protesting against austerity on last month's People's Assembly demo (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Firefighters are to strike on Thursday 10 July. 

Paul Embery, London Regional secretary of the firefighters’ FBU union, told Socialist Worker, “There was considerable support among FBU members for the idea of joining the 10 July strike.

“The status quo of short and infrequent strikes cannot hold. Patience and reasonableness haven’t worked.”

The FBU announced today, Wednesday that firefighters in England and Wales will join up to 1.4 million workers on strike on 10 July.

The walkout, set to last from 10am to 7pm, will be the 15th time firefighters have struck in a dispute over Tory attacks on their pensions.

Paul said, “We know it will take a serious fight, but our members in London are very clear that they want that serious fight to begin.”

Tory fire minister Brandon Lewis is leading the assault on firefighters’ pensions which will see firefighters work longer—with their retirement age up from 55 to 60.

And if workers fail to retain the levels of fitness the job demands, they will be sacked under capability assessments.

The FBU London region was among those calling for firefighters to join other workers on 10 July, and for further strikes to up the pressure.

Paul said, “London firefighters are clear that there needs to be a serious escalation of strike action in our own dispute.”

Many firefighters are now arguing to escalate to longer strikes which make an impact across shift patterns, including for an eight day strike.

“We are under no illusions about the effort that would be involved in shifting the government’s position,” said Paul.

 


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