Socialist Worker

Firefighters call one-day walkout over attacks on pensions

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2432

Confronting Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt

Firefighters confronting Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The firefighters’ FBU union has called a one-day walkout for workers in England on Tuesday of next week. 

It will be their 48th period of action over Tory pension theft in a year.

The Tories want to force firefighters to work until they are 60—up from 55. 

And if they fail to maintain fitness levels they face the sack and losing up to half of their pension.

Tory fire minister Penny Mordaunt is determined to push through the attacks, but workers have consistently shown that they are up for the fight.

They completed a four-day walkout early last month. The strike was solid, with one chief officer saying it brought the fire service to a “standstill” in his area.

Yet Mordaunt refused to budge in her proposals, and the union cooled off from calling any further action.

Greater Manchester firefighter Simon Hickman said, “Many firefighters feel it was a mistake to leave it so long and have been frustrated at the lack of information and the slowness of the action.

“We can’t continue at this pace. It weakens the strongest brigades and will lead to a completely demoralised union—that can’t happen.”

Union activists have organised a meeting to bring members together to build the fightback within the FBU. 

A national demo in Buckinghamshire has also been called on the strike day over the sacking of NEC member Ricky Matthews.

Build the Fightback - Wednesday 3 December, 1pm, Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, London NW1 2HR. Protest in Buckinghamshire, Tues 9 December, 11.30am, Oakfield Road Park, HP20 1LL


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