Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/27279

Posted on 2 May 2018 at 11:35 GMT

West Midlands firefighters ballot for action against the undermining of the fire service

Firefighters striking in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson

Firefighters striking in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Bob Severn, Birmingham South East Socialist Party

'Congratulations on becoming a firefighter - now go and pick up a hospital patient and cross your fingers that no one needs a fire put out while you're at it.' That is the barmy future planned for firefighters by the Labour-led West Midlands Fire Authority, but a future that won't be accepted by firefighters and emergency control operators, who are now balloting for strike action.

The planned contracts would mean new firefighters having to take on non-fire service duties - like those you'd expect NHS workers to be employed to do.

In fact, it's already happening - loss-making 'care contracts' signed by the fire authority have already taken fire staff and engines off frontline duties.

These changes come under what firefighters describe as an anti-union, bullying management that is also introducing flexible working - that's flexible for the bosses of course, changing working hours at short notice.

Dial-a-firefighter: the gig economy for trained emergency staff, implemented by a Labour-led fire authority which is also suspending employees for union campaigning. No wonder Fire Brigade Union (FBU) members have had enough!

On 30 April, the day before balloting began, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack spoke to many union members at meetings in Solihull and Dudley.

Socialist Party members gave support to the firefighters at the Solihull meeting, who were glad to hear that anti-cuts TUSC candidates are standing in the 3 May local elections against right-wing, anti-union, anti-Corbyn Labour councillors - the sort that lead the county's fire authority. Ten copies of the Socialist were bought.

Last year saw Birmingham's bin workers take strike action to stop job cuts and savage pay cuts attempted by the city's Labour council - showing that organised, hard fought action can win. As one person going into the meeting said: "This could be the 2018 Birmingham bins."


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 2 May 2018 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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






Related links:

West Midlands:

triangleTheatre: Rouse, Ye Women to tell story of 1910 chainmakers' strike

triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party conference

triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party women's meeting: our role in changing society

triangleCrowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

triangle1821 Cinderloo uprising: "The crowd thought it had nothing else to lose"

Midlands:

triangleMidlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation

triangleFinancing the fightback

triangleMidlands machine bearing makers launch all-out strike

triangleEast Midlands conference

Firefighters:

triangleStop the fire service cuts

triangleWorcester: Building on our successful library campaign

triangleTV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

Fire service:

triangleStop the Devon and Somerset fire service cuts

triangleSouth Yorkshire: No to fire service cuts!

Fire:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Barking fire - two years after Grenfell

Union:

triangleThe 45th anniversary of the strike

Labour:

triangleTransport strike - blockade foils employers

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: For socialist policies to end austerity

FBU:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/7/19

Education

Tories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

17/7/19

Hackney

Transport strike - blockade foils employers

17/7/19

NSSN

NSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

17/7/19

Climate change

Socialist change to end climate change

17/7/19

Socialist Party

Excellent response to building fund appeal

17/7/19

Durham

Durham Miners' Gala

17/7/19

Housing

Residents mobilise to stop eviction

17/7/19

NHS

Campaigners force U-turn over NHS privatisation

17/7/19

Austerity

Leicestershire - No more austerity!

17/7/19

Fighting Fund

Socialist Party Fighting Fund

17/7/19

Fire service

Stop the fire service cuts

17/7/19

National Education Union

Council seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

17/7/19

Newham

Newham housing repairs workers announce strike dates

17/7/19

Bradford

Bradford NHS workers strike against privatisation

17/7/19

Lincolnshire

Health visitors strike for the first time ever

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: 0784 114 4890

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


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999