Socialist Worker

East London Firefighters' action

Issue No. 1822

LONDON firefighters are in explosive mood. Firefighters across east London only took 999 calls on Tuesday of last week. They were defending the FBU's policy of not cooperating with the government's so called independent inquiry into firefighters' pay.

Inquiry members Sir George Bain and Sir Tony Young attempted to visit firefighters at Bethnal Green and Shadwell fire stations in east London. FBU official Karl Heider said, 'Our members were magnificent. They lined up on the forecourt to greet Bain. An elected spokesperson read out a prepared statement which reaffirmed our commitment to non-cooperation with the inquiry and called on the employers to open negotiations with our union.'

Islington firefighter Paul Embery said, 'This action shows what firefighters can achieve when we flex our industrial muscle.' The result of the FBU's national strike ballot is due this Friday.
Neale Williams

OVER 400 firefighters packed an electric meeting in Merseyside on Monday. Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT rail union, spoke alongside Andy Gilchrist, the firefighters' FBU union leader. Crow said, 'The TUC general council should tell low paid workers to follow the FBU's example.'

'The RMT won't work while you're striking.' Gilchrist said, 'This is the beginning of a historic week. I'm confident that we're going to win. What's at stake is the government having to pay firefighters, then teachers and nurses, decent wages when we win.'
Merseyside firefighter

Red Watch, the voice of rank and file firefighters and control staff, price 20p – phone 07939 021 084 for your copy.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Sat 19 Oct 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1822
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.