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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 September 2010

Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon

2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Thursday 16 September saw one of the most formidable demonstrations in London for some time. 2,500 uniformed firefighters marched with Fire Brigades Union (FBU) flags and placards, whistles, vuvuzelas and even a bagpiper to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA).

Paula Mitchell

All 5,557 firefighters in London are threatened with the sack if they don't accept new contracts. Contracts which not only threaten firefighters' jobs, conditions of work and family lives, but will open the door to the destruction of the fire service as we know it.

London FBU regional secretary Joe McVeigh read out the LFA mission statement, to shouts of derision after every clause.

Amid chants (the song sheet for the protest included the traditional working class socialist song 'the Internationale') and boos for the Fire Authority members, speakers from the RMT, NUT, PCS, GMB and other trade unions pledged support.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, addressing 2,500 uniformed firefighters who marched with Fire Brigades Union flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, addressing 2,500 uniformed firefighters who marched with Fire Brigades Union flags and placards to protest outside the London Fire Authority (LFA), photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

A fiery speech from the London rep on the FBU national executive, Ian Leahair, laid bare what is at stake if these cuts go through. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack announced that the London FBU has now given formal notice that it will ballot for strike action.

Socialist Party member Martin Powell-Davies, who is on the national executive of the National Union of Teachers, explained the risks for schools without adequate fire cover. Making it clear that working class people should not be forced to pay for the bankers' and bosses' crisis, Martin called for: "No cuts, No mass sackings, Solidarity with the FBU!"

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In The Socialist 22 September 2010:

Brutal bosses? Time to fight back!

Birmingham: Solidarity with council workers


Socialist Party youth and students

Stop the higher education lock out!

The Student Socialist:: Issue 8 1.50


International socialist news and analysis

For a 24-hour all-Europe general strike

Spain: class struggle the biggest show in town

Kashmir: An eyewitness to oppression in the valley

'Death of democracy' in Sri Lanka


Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010 - a weekend of discussion and debate


Socialist Party news and analysis

Countering the Con-Dem government's offensive

Stroud says no to BNP media centre

Bosses want workers' pensions axed

Trade unionists challenge Lib-Dems

Fast news

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Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

The sorry saga of Corus steel

Ex-Jarvis workers face more attacks

Tyneside Safety Glass: Stop the decline to the minimum wage!

Workplace news in brief

Fight every Con-Dem cut

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Organising to save jobs and services

Determined, widespread union action needed

Why London firefighters oppose 'reforms'

23 October march against cuts: RMT calls London demo


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The beauty industry: out of control?

Diminished responsibility


Socialist Party campaigns

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Building the anti-cuts fightback: Local campaign launches

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