Socialist Worker

Essex fire strikers defiant as bosses lock out workers

Issue No. 2443

Strikers in Essex

Strikers in Essex (Pic: Essex FBU)

Firefighters and 999 control operators in Essex struck on Sunday and Monday of this week over attacks on their jobs and the service.

Fire bosses tried to undermine the walkouts by locking out some firefighters and all control staff for 21 hours—but workers were defiant.

“Picket lines have been solid with an overwhelming amount of public support,” said Essex FBU union chair Riccardo La Torre.

“Livelihoods are being jeopardised by the actions of the fire service. They need to seriously reconsider their position. They are playing dangerous games”.

Fire bosses in Essex have implemented new shift patterns that have forced many control operators out of their job and more will be pushed out.

Bosses also plan to axe 179 firefighters and 999 operators resulting in a 20 percent cut in staff.

Support came from across Britain for the walkout. FBU members in Nottinghamshire donated £1,000 to strikers.

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