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Posted on 4 December 2019 at 12:06 GMT

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

Firefighters in Surrey are balloting on industrial action to commence on 24 December, after exhausting all other avenues to prevent dangerous cuts to their fire and rescue service.

Despite 13,000 people signing a petition opposing the cuts - which include removing seven fire engines at night-time and cutting 70 firefighter posts - they were approved by Tory-run Surrey County Council at a cabinet meeting.

This year has seen the steepest rise in Surrey fire deaths in over a decade. Staffing shortages in Surrey have left fire engines unavailable to respond to emergency calls over the last year, resulting in slower response times as crews often have to travel from neighbouring counties.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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Related links:

Surrey:

triangleCouncillors in Surrey resign from Labour and look to stand independently

triangleSurrey Socialist Party: The election, a Corbyn government and fighting austerity

triangleFrimley NHS Trust: Strikers remain determined to defeat privatisation

triangleFive years on - and still no justice for Zane

triangleSurrey: save our children's centres

Firefighters:

triangleMajor funding for flood risk management needed

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment

triangleGrenfell inquiry serves to deflect opinion away from the establishment

triangleMarch planned to save Bewdley Fire Station

Fire:

triangleGMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

triangleTory cladding money will not make us safe

triangleStriking workers fighting to win

Cuts:

triangleTories tout toilet tensions

triangleSave John Carroll Leisure Centre

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