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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 June 2018

West Midlands firefighters vote to strike in massive numbers

Firefighters striking in 2013, photo Paul Mattsson

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

Bob Severn, Birmingham Socialist Party

West Midlands firefighters have voted by 90% to take strike action against exploitative conditions for new fire service workers. They are being introduced by the Labour-led West Midlands Fire Authority (WMFA).

The new contracts would force firefighters to take on work outside the agreed role of a firefighter, including acting as taxi drivers for the NHS. The WMFA has imposed these new contracts, which breach national agreements with the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), without any negotiation with the union.

The ballot result, nine to one in favour of walking out on an 82% turnout, has smashed through the Tories' draconian minimum vote now needed for legal strike action by emergency service workers.

But who needs the Tories when Blairite Labour councillors are doing their anti-worker, anti-union business for them? Labour members of the fire authority who attack firefighters' terms and conditions should be deselected and suspended. We need representatives who fight the cuts not implement them.

The new contracts are the tip of iceberg under a regime where firefighters face dictatorial and bullying management.

The FBU will now go ahead with industrial strike action, which will affect fire stations across the West Midlands county, unless WMFA backs down and withdraws the new contracts.

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In The Socialist 6 June 2018:


Labour and the unions

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RMT special conference debates political strategy


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop the Tory NHS wreckers

#NorthernFail: 250 rail services cancelled

Socialists defend Lush ad campaign against spy cops


International socialist news and analysis

Italy's political crisis is reverberating through Europe

No to Trump's trade war

Jordan: Workers and youth remove prime minister and demand end to austerity


Workplace news

Congress shut down by staff walkouts

PCS union launches strike ballot on pay

West Midlands firefighters vote to strike in massive numbers

East London housing workers fight privatisation of pay


'Made in Dagenham' strike 50 years on

'Made in Dagenham' Ford machinists pay strike 50 years on


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Liverpool meeting remembers 47 councillors who fought and defeated Thatcher in 1980s

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People's Assembly event lacks understanding of task facing Corbyn

200 years since the birth of Karl Marx - come and walk in his footsteps!


Opinion

Alt-right gains exposure - but tedious clichÚs betray lack of ideas

Rich, raw tale of financial crisis's impact on rural Ireland

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

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triangleFirefighters ballot for action

triangleTremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

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