THE FIRE Brigades Union has called three further major demonstrations and rallies as its 55,000 members move to ballot for strike action over pay. There will be demonstrations in Swansea on Saturday 17 August, in Belfast on 24 August, and a rally in London on 2 September. A final meeting with the employers, who spurned calls for an increase in firefighters' pay to £30,000 a year, will take place at the beginning of September.
FBU leaders, activists and members all anticipate that there will be no movement from the employers or the government by then. A recalled conference of the union is to take place in Manchester on 12 September-the week of the TUC congress-to hear recommendations for an immediate strike ballot.