FBU lobby parliament as part of pay campaign. Photo: London SP
FBU lobby parliament as part of pay campaign. Photo: London SP

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strike ballot has delivered a whopping 88% ‘yes’ vote on a 73% turnout, smashing through the Tory anti-strike threshold.

Members have rejected a 5% pay ‘offer’ – in reality a significant pay cut for workers who risk their lives daily. The FBU reports that since 2010, firefighters have faced a 12% pay cut in real terms, and about 20% of firefighter jobs have been cut.  

According to Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, no strike dates have been set yet. The government and employers have been given until 9 February to make a new offer. But if that doesn’t happen, there will be national strike action on pay by firefighters for the first time since 2003.

For firefighters, like ambulance workers, nurses and other public sector workers, striking is a last resort forced by the Tories’ and bosses’ brutal policies. They have concluded they have no other choice in order that they continue to work and to defend the essential service they provide.

The result will be a big boost to all those NHS staff, teachers, rail workers, postal workers and others already on the front line of the strike wave. It adds another group of workers to the long list taking on the bosses and the Tories – which will be even more strengthened by all striking together.