Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/290/20223

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2003

Firefighters Demand A Living Wage

Union leaders urge members not to accept pay deal

"MORE MONEY for the war machine! Gordon Brown has indicated that he will make more money available 'so that the Armed Forces are properly equipped for whatever lies ahead'. What about proper equipment for fighting something a bit closer to home, like fires and chemical/biological and other attacks? The cheeky bastards with dual standards yet again."

That was the reaction of one firefighter to the billions being spent on the build-up to war. This is whilst the negotiations over the firefighters' claim for a living wage continue with little sign of concessions from the employers.

In spite of three solid strikes, with massive and growing public support, the employers are sticking to their demand that the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) accept the provisions of the Bain report before any pay deal can be made. But it is clear that Bain means cuts, privatisation and worsening working conditions rather than 'modernisation'.

If the Bain provisions were implemented 4,500 firefighters' jobs would go over the next four years, along with hundreds more control staff. That is the equivalent of the closure of 150 fire stations.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is also proposing to repeal the legislation which forces the government to consult the local community if fire service standards are to be changed. He wants to allow chief fire officers to make those decisions - allowing cuts on the quiet.

Whilst negotiations drag on, the employers are trying to get tough on a local level. FBU officials are being victimised in Cleveland, the West Midlands and Hampshire. There is also an attempt to merge control rooms in Wiltshire. Also some fire authorities appear to be dragging their feet over recruitment, hoping to reduce staffing to the levels proposed in the Bain report by 'natural wastage'.

The FBU is lobbying parliament on 12 March and union leaders have urged their members not to accept a pay deal at the recalled FBU conference on 19 March. There is still a ballot mandate for further strike action which will almost certainly be necessary if concessions are to be wrung from the government.

But FBU strike action alone will not be enough - Prescott has already threatened to take direct control of the fire service and could be planning to impose a lousy settlement on the pretext of the war with Iraq. The FBU leadership must call on the TUC for support and organise for solidarity action, regardless of the anti-trade union laws.

The firefighters can win, with the support and solidarity of the trade union movement and the working class as a whole.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 March 2003:

Action Now To Stop Bush & Blair's War

Firefighters Demand A Living Wage

Mass Action needed to stop War

School and College Student Action Friday 7th March

Bush's Bribes And Dirty Tricks

A New Alternative To New Labour?

Anti-War Reports

International Women's Day

General Strike In Algeria

SSP Conference: Scottish Socialists Debate The Way Forward


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 March 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Firefighters:

triangleFire service victory

triangleSolidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

triangleSurrey FBU pass no confidence motion

triangleSouth London tower block residents plan safety campaign

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

FBU:

triangleTrade unionists march to defend 650 local jobs

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

triangleTories weak: time for the TUC to act

triangleUnions call for action after Grenfell

Fire:

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleNo more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

Union:

triangleFerrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

triangleTunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

Pay:

triangleHackney school cleaners strike

Fire service:

triangleWhole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/1/18

Women

Socialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

17/1/18

Newham

Packed Newham meeting against academies

17/1/18

Liverpool

Lobby pushes Liverpool council to oppose privatisation

17/1/18

Barking

Heating scandal on east London estate

17/1/18

Policing

Undercover policing legal challenge

17/1/18

Woolwich

No to the Woolwich monster block

17/1/18

Union

Workplace news in brief

17/1/18

Union

PCS union 2018 elections - nominate the left slate for a continued fighting leadership

17/1/18

Hackney

Hackney school cleaners strike

17/1/18

RMT

RMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

17/1/18

Yorkshire

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

17/1/18

Cuts

We must fight all council cuts!

17/1/18

Socialist Party

Southern Socialist Party conference

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2