Socialist Worker

Manchester firefighters face job cuts if they don't fight

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2522

The FBU needs to strike against the new contracts and job cuts

The FBU needs to strike against the new contracts and job cuts (Pic: Ricky Matthews)

Every firefighter in Greater Manchester could face the sack if they refuse to sign up to a new contract.

Bosses at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have put more than 1,000 firefighters on redundancy notice. It’s part of a plan to steamroll through new contracts with worse terms and conditions by November—and slash 250 jobs.

The Labour-led fire authority want to get rid of one in five firefighter posts—and force those remaining to take on 12-hour shifts to plug the gaps. Firefighters could be forced to reapply for their jobs on the new contracts—and could lose their jobs if they refuse to sign up.

Fire authority chair David Acton blamed funding cuts from central government. He said, “The authority faces a further government budget cut of £14.4 million over the next four years.

“The scale of these cuts has left us with no alternative.”

But Manchester firefighter and FBU union member Simon Hickman slammed the Labour authority’s decision to attack workers in response to cuts.

Simon Hickman

Simon Hickman (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Simon said, “We’re facing a two-pronged attack. The cuts have come from the Tory government. But it’s atrocious that it’s a Labour-led fire authority that’s attacking our terms and conditions”.

An FBU reps meeting in Manchester was set to take place on Wednesday of this week. It will take strikes to stop the attacks on workers and save the fire service

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