Socialist Worker

Firefighters' cuts victory in Suffolk

Issue No. 1971

Suffolk firefighters have won significant gains after their recent strikes.

A deal announced on Monday means cuts have been beaten back.

FBU union members walked out 22 times over plans to scrap 12 full time jobs and reduce safety appliances.

Vince Jell, the Suffolk FBU brigade secretary, told Socialist Worker, “The original plan was to remove 12 jobs and to cut two appliances.

“Rescues in high buildings would have had to come into the area from outside, endangering firefighters and the public.

“Now the two appliances will be replaced with one which has all the capability of the previous two. Some firefighters who were threatened with losing their jobs will crew the new appliance. The others will be redeployed into community safety.

“We did not want to go on strike, but we were right to defend safety and the settlement has vindicated our stand.”

The achievements in Suffolk show how cuts can be beaten and demonstrate that the union can rebuild its strength after the problems of recent years.

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Sat 8 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1971
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