Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/522/3834
From The Socialist newspaper, 27 February 2008
Fight Devon and Somerset fire cuts
DEVON AND Somerset Fire Authority are putting pennies before public safety by adopting plans to cut 24 firefighters' jobs from Barnstaple, Exeter and Torquay.
Jim Lowe, Devon Socialist Party
They are also introducing dual-crewing of all aerial platforms in Devon. So, if another large fire broke out like that in Ilfracombe, firefighters would have to choose whether to take an engine OR an aerial platform.
Devon and Somerset Fire Authority blame the cuts on the government reducing their funds. However, the Fire Brigades Union put forward proposals enabling the authority to save money while maintaining services. The Fire Authority ignored these proposals, which included reviewing senior management's salary levels. Chief Fire Officer Paul Young, on £135,000 a year, didn't support them.
Firefighters are furious. The Fire Authority has ignored their warnings and overwhelming public opposition to the cuts.
Barnstaple firefighter James Leslie told The Socialist: "There's a lot of anger at the plans, and a feeling that management have let down the public and firefighters". The Authority previously rejected plans to dual-crew aerial platforms due to the risk to the public, "but suddenly they're OK".
These cuts would put lives at risk. Devon Socialist Party will keep campaigning against them and will support action by the FBU, whose area Brigade Secretary Trevor French hints at strike action.
The NHS, schools and other essential public services are also facing huge cuts and the increasing involvement of private companies who are interested in profit, not people. We need united action by public sector unions to fight for 'public services not private profit' and also a party that will represent such a campaign politically.
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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- 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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 27 February 2008:
Rich get richer - We pay the bills
Editorial: Stop witch-hunts in Unison - defend those attacked!
Trade union activist fights intimidation
Members protest at Unison witch-hunt
Student feature: Fighting fees
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Building the Campaign for a New Workers' Party
Shelter staff vote to strike
Acas staff ballot for strike
Journalists battle for union rights
Workplace News in brief
International socialist news and analysis
Scotland - Vendetta against Tommy Sheridan condemned
Feature: Fidel Castro's resignation opens up new chapter
Pakistan elections: Crushing defeat for Musharraf, landslide for opposition parties
Miliband's extraordinary apology on rendition
Sleaze in Northern Ireland: Keeping it in the family
Socialist Party campaigns
Don't let our hospital pay the price for PFI
Explosive mood on gas profits
Fight Devon and Somerset fire cuts
Marching against single status pay cuts
Neither Labour nor Tories will defend public services
Post Office closures
Sheffield buses campaign: 'Saving our services'
The Socialist 27 February 2008 |
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