Socialist Worker

Strikes can win in firefighters' row

Issue No. 2420

Firefighters launched a nationwide tour to highlight the devastating effect Tory cuts are having on the fire service at the TUC conference this week.

The 20-date “Ring of Fire” tour is being launched alongside the firefighters’ FBU union’s report, “Sounding the alarm: the future of the fire and rescue service.”

The report shows how funding for the service has been cut by more than 20 percent since the Tories came to office.

FBU leaders are also set for more talks with Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt in the row over their pension theft.

 They have not called any further strike dates.

But Mordaunt told parliament this week that she is still insisting on minimum fitness standards and is “optimistic” to reach a resolution with the union.

In the last few months workers’ confidence has grown. “FBU members’ morale has been boosted by seeing struggle,” Manchester firefighter Gary Keary told Socialist Worker.

“We’re coming up to that time of year when other unions are going to be out.

“I’m a big fan of getting united action.”

Firefighters struck on 10 July and called two one-day strikes as well as shorter walkouts in quick succession. The action rattled the Tories.

Strikes have the power to win and beat back the attacks on pensions and on the fire service. 

Being locked in talks risks dissipating the momentum.


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