Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/636/10148

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 September 2010

London firefighters ballot for action

Around 1,000 firefighters poured into a mass meeting of the London Fire Brigades Union (FBU) on 24 August. They gathered to discuss the union's strategy in response to the London Fire Authority's (LFA) attempt to rip up their contracts.

Neil Cafferky

The LFA is proposing to sack 5,557 firefighters and re-employ them on worse terms and conditions. At the moment firefighters work a nine-hour day shift and a 15-hour night shift. LFA bosses want to change this to two equal 12-hour shifts. Expected upshots following this change are fire stations closing, fire engines removed from night-time service and even cuts in frontline staff.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the FBU, outlined the political context of the dispute. To loud applause and shouts of approval, Matt declared that firefighters had not caused the economic crisis and they were not going to pay for the consequences.

Ian Leahair, FBU national executive member for London, took the floor to explain the union's strategy to go from lobbies, to action short of a strike and then strike action. The first ballot will close on 17 September. Action following this ballot could begin as early as 24 September. The day before the ballot closes, on 16 September, the FBU will hold a lobby of the London Fire Authority.

If there is no progress by 6 September, the union will give seven days notice of its intention to ballot members for strike action. The ballot result will be out in the week beginning 11 October. Ian Leahair pledged that once the ballot process begins it will not be called off, short of management withdrawing their threat to sack firefighters.

He also promised, to loud applause, that any deal reached with management would be in writing with the final say on whether to accept or reject it resting with the London membership.

There were two guest speakers on the platform. One was Labour MP John McDonnell, the convenor of the FBU parliamentary group. The other was Socialist Party and Unite member Suzanne Muna, representing the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN).

Suzanne spoke about the purpose of the NSSN, to bring together grassroots union activists in their common struggle to defend the working conditions and living standards of working people.

Commenting on the refusal of some union leaders to organise a fightback, Suzanne raised the NSSN lobby of the TUC conference in Manchester on 12 September.

The aim of the lobby will be to push the TUC to organise a national demonstration against cuts. This proposal was greeted with enthusiastic applause by firefighters. By the end of the meeting the huge wedge of leaflets NSSN supporters had brought along had all gone.

If even a fraction of the energy, determination and militancy that was present at this meeting can be transferred to Manchester it should be a very good lobby indeed.

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


In The Socialist 1 September 2010:

A fightback can stop cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Our future under attack


Anti-cuts campaign

Anti-cuts movement builds momentum in Plymouth

North Staffs TUC public meeting against cuts

Cuts hit poor hardest


Anti-racism

Fighting the far right in Bradford


Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's three stooges aid Con-Dem coalition

Government cuts hit our benefits

Keep Middle Street centre open

Defend school meals


Socialist Party feature

Slashing public services: do councillors have 'no choice'?

Lobby the TUC conference


International socialist news

Kazakhstan: Human rights activist beaten and arrested

Worldwide protests against brutal attack on three Russian socialists

Pakistan flood disaster: Workers' solidarity appeal


International feature

General strike movement sweeps South Africa


Socialist Party workplace news

Battles ahead on London Underground

London firefighters ballot for action

Jobs threat at RBS

Coventry mail centre closes

Civil service jobs under the cosh


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 September 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

London:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 120 years since the death of Eleanor Marx

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: The Refugee Rights Campaign

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Fighting for women's rights around the world

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: 10 years after the financial crisis - is another on its way?

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: Role of a Marxist in the workplace

Firefighters:

triangleStaines fire services saved

triangleFire service victory

triangleSolidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

triangleSurrey FBU pass no confidence motion

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

Fire:

triangle2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Matt Wrack:

triangleUnions call for action after Grenfell

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999