Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/278/24466
Firefighters - Their Fight Is Our Fight
- For the full £30K, without strings.
- Build solidarity with the firefighters.
- A one-day public sector workers' strike to end low pay.
FIREFIGHTERS HAVE won widespread support in their struggle for higher pay. Workers understand that Tony Blair has taken on the firefighters to try and 'teach a lesson' to others in the public sector who are suffering low pay and privatisation.
Blair wants public services on the cheap - where the fat cats profit and workers are kept on poverty pay.
That's why he says he can't pay firefighters the wage that they deserve. And that's why the firefighters should be supported by all those who work in or use public services.
"POLITICIANS QUEUE up for a photo with firefighters. All their praise, they can shove it. It's decent pay we want".
FBU Southern Regional Secretary Dean Mills, summed up the anger of firefighters responding to the Bain report, speaking at a Southampton Socialist Party public meeting.
Dean, a firefighter for 20 years, has been hospitalised five times and seen others pay the price for a dangerous job. He exposed Bain's report as a regurgitation of previous reviews. The reality of the offer is an increase of 24p an hour.
They can find the money for a war in Iraq. If war starts at 9am, they will have spent our pay award by 9.02 and 30 seconds."
FBU Southern Regional Secretary Dean Mills
"We're happy to modernise, but our version of modernising not theirs. Their version is what they've done to education and health where schools built through PFI have their roofs ripped off in the wind. The audit commission described us as the most efficient part of the public sector.
"Our stand of refusing to do overtime has created thousands of jobs since 1977, it's a principle of the trade union movement and we're prepared to defend our position.
"It will cost them £100 million more to pay for the extra police and army cover than it would to meet our claim. They can find the money for a war in Iraq. If war starts at 9am, they will have spent our pay award by 9.02 and 30 seconds."
In The Socialist 22 November 2002:
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