London Firefighters To Strike On Bonfire Night

Proposed industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union will see a 47-hour strike centered on November 5. The move, which clearly puts lives at risk by diminishing fire coverage on the busiest night of the year, has been described as ‘profoundly wrong’ and ‘very serious’ by politicians. This and other recent strikes oppose a decision by London Fire Brigade to force staff into signing new contracts or face the sack. In the interests of balance, we won’t say how self-centered and reckless the choice of strike dates seems, but will leave that for others in the comments.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/97938415@N00/ BrigadierCrispbread

    Indeed…it does seem incredibly reckless: “they’ll take us seriously once a few kiddywinks have gone up in flames”. Normally have sympathy with striking firemen. Not in this case.

  • http://undefined Lewis

    I have an immense amount of respect for firefighters; choosing a career of protecting and occasionally saving the lives of others is a great thing to do.

    But choosing to strike on Bonfire Night is the worst kind of grandstanding and will lose them an awful lot of goodwill.

  • http://undefined littleonesaid

    Hmm. Tricky.
    Yes, endangering lives needlessly is never cool but at same time, this is an incredibly effective bargaining chip against a really rotten move by the LFB. It’s not just forcing staff to sign a new contract; they are forcing new shift patterns onto them in order to cut the number of firefighters covering night shifts – a move which also ‘clearly puts lives at risk by diminishing fire coverage’, except on a permanent rather than one-off basis.
    If the firefighters don’t agree, the LFB plans to fire every single firefighter and force them to reapply for their own jobs, meaning they effectively become new employees; they lose the rights that come with a long term employment in the same role.
    I agree the timing seems cavalier at best but surely this simply highlights how important a role they fulfil and that perhaps they deserve a bit more respect than their own employers are showing them?