Essex firefighters could strike after bosses pulled a pay deal off the table at the last minute.
The firefighters’ FBU union has been in negotiations to end a bitter 10-month dispute over up to 49 job cuts.
The union believed a deal was nearly done, but then bosses went on the offensive.
Essex FBU brigade secretary Keith Flynn told of a “splenetic letter” he was sent by chief fire officer David Johnson.
Keith said, “It breaks off negotiations, withdraws his offer which is currently on the table, and directs bitter abuse at the union.”
The letter accuses the FBU of creating an “environment of confrontation”.
Essex FBU chair, Mark Kinsalla, said the bosses had “snatched the whole deal off the negotiating table”.
The union is calling for a return to talks.
Matt Wrack has been re‑elected as general secretary of the FBU union.
He got 61 percent of the vote: 6,088 votes to his opponent John McGhee’s 3,920.
Matt Wrack said, “It’s a great honour to be re-elected.
“We give notice to politicians of all parties who wish to slash the fire service that we will campaign to defend jobs and services to keep the public safe.
“All members of the FBU need to unite in the face of attacks on jobs and services.”
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle