OVER 5,000 firefighters and control room staff marched in Glasgow on Monday as part of the Britain-wide campaign over pay. It was a brilliantly colourful and noisy protest with big delegations from London, Yorkshire, Cornwall, Ireland and many other places. Many of those present said that it was 'not like a trade union demo-it was more like the sort of thing they do in Europe'.
Andy Gilchrist, the FBU firefighters' union general secretary, told the rally, 'This demonstration isn't a demonstration of workers who are afraid, but of workers who are confident. 'We would like to get the money the easy way, but if the employers want a fight we're up for it.'
Andy Gilchrist announced that the FBU would be holding a recall conference in Manchester on 12 September with a recommendation for strike action unless there is a settlement.
Firefighters are demanding basic pay of £30,000 a year. The rally took place the day before a crucial meeting between the union and the fire authority employers. The union was calling on the employers to back the pay claim, and so add to the pressure on the government to cough up the funding needed.