Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/645/10547
Pickets injured: Solidarity with London firefighters
The mood of striking London firefighters was made even more determined when two FBU members were hit by vehicles on picket lines on 1 November. In Croydon, a firefighter was seriously injured after an incident with a car, apparently driven by a manager. Witnesses reported that a car following a scab fire engine suddenly accelerated towards the picket line. The manager has been arrested.
Then the London national executive member for the FBU, Ian Leahair, was reportedly hit by a scab appliance whilst trying to picket its return to Southwark station. Again, an arrest has been made.
Paula Mitchell, London regional secretary of the Socialist Party immediately responded:
"We utterly condemn the injury to pickets trying to defend their own and their families' livelihoods. The Socialist Party is fully behind the heroic actions of the London firefighters and their defence of the capital's safety against a swingeing bullying management.
Other trade unionists across the capital should come to the aid of their brothers and sisters in the fire brigade."
Socialist Party councillor and ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist added:
"If this had been striking firefighters deliberately driving vehicles at strike-breakers it would be on the front page of every paper in the land. Trade unionists around the country should flood the London Fire Brigade office with protests about the actions of these scabs."
The Socialist Party says:
- Prepare for serious solidarity action. The TUC must act!
- For a London trade union demonstration
- Prepare the ground for a national FBU strike and a one-day trade union wide London solidarity strike if there are mass sackings
Protest at picket line injuries
Dear Chief Officer of the LFB
Like many other trade unionists, I am appalled to read this morning about the hospitalisation of two members of the Fire Brigades Union, including Executive Council member Ian Leahair.
These attacks on trade unionists engaged in lawful trade union activity will only help convince public opinion that the Fire Authority is acting in a bullying and unreasonable manner in this dispute, not the FBU.
I urge you to remove the notices threatening firefighters with dismissal so that a negotiated settlement to the dispute can be reached.
National Union of Teachers, National Executive Member for Inner London.
In The Socialist 3 November 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis