Socialist Worker

As FBU conference begins firefighter says 'union strategy was mistake'

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2453

Union squandered energy of campaign in hope of Labour government

Union leaders squandered energy of campaign in hope of Labour government (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The firefighters’ FBU union biennial conference had just begun as Socialist Worker went to press.

The Tories have led an assault on firefighters’ pensions—and the new government will ramp up attacks on the fire service.

Firefighters have struck more than 50 times in 18 months. But the solid walkouts were not backed up with a serious programme of action.

In the run up to the election the union leadership wound down the action in the hope of a Labour victory.

Yusuf Timms, a firefighter in north London, told Socialist Worker, “The union’s strategy was a mistake and it has come to nothing.”

A meeting was planned on Tuesday night for delegates to debate the way forward.

A Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) meeting was also set to take place on Thursday to discuss what political direction the union should take. 

Yusuf said, “We need to start to develop a new leadership in the union that is willing to organise and lead a fight at both rank and file and at national level.”

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