Socialist Worker

Firefighters in England set to walk out for four days next Friday

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2426

Firefighters protesting Tory fire cuts

Firefighters protesting Tory fire cuts (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Firefighters in England have announced a four day strike in the battle against Tory pension theft.

The walk out will begin at 6pm on Friday 31 October.

Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt is leading attacks on firefighters’ pensions. Under proposed pension changes, firefighters will be expected to work and a further five years until they are 60.

If they fail to achieve fitness standards and have to retire earlier, they could lose up to half of their pension or face the sack.

“This is our response fire minister’s the deceit and the way she has misled firefighters,” said London FBU executive council member Ian Leahair.

"This is a shot across the bow, that if the government does not put improved proposals on the table there will be more action.”

The FBU firefighters’ union has been in talks with the government for four weeks.

After many delays to present her updated proposals on pensions Mordaunt met with the union on Wednesday of this week.

No revised proposals were offered.

The FBU executive council met yesterday and today to discuss the response, with a four day strike being called.

There were sharps arguments on the executive, with strong arguments put for an eight day strike.

Yusuf Timms, FBU south west area secretary told Socialist Worker, “It’s good that the union have announced an meaningful escalation.

“But we should be out for eight days. This has been a constant call throughout the dispute. An eight day walkout would mean firefighters taking the same amount of action across all watches.

“We need to flex our national muscle. We also need to bring out Welsh and Scottish firefighters against the attacks.”

Welsh firefighters will not be taking part  in the current walkout, because of revised pensions proposals offered to them this week.

Ian said, “If nothing comes from that we will be taking Welsh firefighters back out on action”


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Fri 24 Oct 2014, 17:21 BST
Issue No. 2426
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