Firefighters fight cuts

FBU members marching against job cuts, photo Suzanne Beishon

FBU members marching against job cuts, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Greater Manchester Fire Authority is planning to cut 280 firefighter jobs and 26 fire engines. Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members have been protesting these plans, including a huge lobby of the fire authority meeting which approved the cuts. To make up for the loss in staff, the firefighters that remain will be forced to work longer hours. An FBU member in Greater Manchester told the Socialist: “The current situation is the authority is imposing a 12-hour shift with a start and finish time of 10.30. This will not only have huge ramifications for the quality of life for firefighters, but also the quality of life for their families. Not only are public service workers being asked to pay for governmental failings with their terms and conditions, but our families are being asked to pay also. Industrial relations, morale, staffing and safety of both the public and firefighters are at an all-time low. Our members will stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for the protection of the public, protection of our family lives and protection of our terms and conditions that have been hard won and fought for by our comrades throughout the years.”

Becci Heagney