Socialist Worker

Firefighters' union warns of war as London fire boss plans to lock out workers

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2423

Firefighters protesting against cuts

Firefighters protesting against cuts (Pic: Guy Smallman)

London Fire Brigade Comissioner Ron Dobson has provoked outrage by recommending striking firefighters be locked out.

The London regional committee of the FBU union is now set to seek to end the agreement on recall-to-duty for major incidents when they are on strike. 

The London Fire Authority was set to meet on Thursday of this week to vote on Dobson’s recommendations.

The London region of the FBU said, “We said we would go to war with Ron Dobson and Boris Johnson if they ordered a lockout. “They ought to be very careful what they wish for.”

The plans were revealed in a report released last week.

Fire bosses have already tried to intimidate striking workers by locking them out. Firefighters have struck more than 30 times over attacks on their pensions.

In January this year fire bosses in Essex told workers they would be locked out for eight hours after the strike ended.

And Buckinghamshire firefighters faced an eight day lockout in July.

Union leaders are currently locked in talks with the Tories, and have not called further action. But Dobson’s report show that strikes have the bosses rattled.

‘Stop the fire service cuts’

The FBU union’s Ring of Fire tour of rallies against fire service cuts came to London on Friday of last week.

The 20-date tour has travelled across Britain to raise awareness of the cuts.

At the rally in London FBU general secretary Matt Wrack condemned the cuts to the fire service while the rich get bailouts saying, “We rescue people—not banks.”

Speakers also included comedians Russell Brand and Shappi Khorsandi. The tour was set to end in Bristol this week.

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